Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually related to wheat. It is not in the grass family, but is actually a member of the rhubarb family.
Serves 2 main or 4 appetisers
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil + 1 Tbsp for serving
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 Portobello mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
1 cup buckwheat groats
3-4 cups of quality vegetable or chicken stock, heated
1 large bunch fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped
juice of one lemon
handful flat leaf parsley, washed and shopped
handful fresh thyme, washed and plucked from the stem
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan for serving (optional)
Bring a skillet or heavy bottomed frying pan to a medium heat, add the butter or olive oil, garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
Add the buckwheat groats and saute for a further 2-3 minutes, pour in 3 cups of stock and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down a bit and simmer while stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. If needed, add an additional 1/2 - 1 cup of stock to make the risotto consistency like lava. The buckwheat is cooked when it is soft, but is still a little al dente. Adjust for seasoning if needed.
Fold in the washed spinach, lemon juice and fresh herbs (reserving some of the herbs for garnishing).
Take off the heat and stir through the additional butter or olive oil. Serve with a sprinkling of the reserved fresh herbs and freshly grated parmesan. Eat immediately, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.