Kasha Mixed Mushroom Gratin

Kasha Mixed Mushroom Gratin

In North America, kasha refers to roasted buckwheat groats or kernels. Roasting the groats brings out a strong nutty flavor that makes kasha a popular grain in eastern European cooking where it is enjoyed not only as a porridge but also in savory dishes like soups where its firm and chewy texture makes for an added appeal. And since buckwheat is not a grain in fact but a seed that cooks like a grain, it's gluten free too.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed the goodness of kasha, but a routine cleanup of my cupboards revealed a sadly forgotten jar of it. I've been looking to mix up my grains lately anyways, and cracked buckwheat is often a favorite breakfast cereal porridge that I serve warm with fresh berries and maple syrup. So I was immediately inspired to cook with kasha again, and although it would also make for a fine breakfast too, I wanted to feature it as part of a main meal since grains typically occupy a fairly prominent role in my dinner planning.

I've prepared kasha here to serve as a side dish to go along with a main course. The nutty taste of kasha pairs beautifully with plump earthy mushrooms, and so seasoned with dill, paprika and a hint of heat with ground cayenne, it bakes in a small casserole or gratin dish to form a tantalizing brown crust on top.

This recipe is vegan-friendly as it is free of dairy if you use coconut milk to add creaminess, but you can use sour cream instead to make the dish more in keeping with eastern European traditions. Either way, it is a delicious and easy to make side dish.

Kasha Mixed Mushroom GratinKasha Mixed Mushroom Gratin
Recipe by
Cuisine: Eastern European
Published on March 21, 2019

Creamy baked kasha and mushrooms — an easy and tasty side dish

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes

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  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mixed wild mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz (225 g) mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 cup kasha (see note)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and roughly chop. Set aside.

  • Generously grease a small casserole dish and preheat an oven to 325°F.

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. When hot, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Turn the heat up slightly and add the dried and fresh mushrooms to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms brown slightly and just begin the release their juices. Stir in the coconut milk or sour cream, dill, paprika and cayenne, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for another few minutes, stirring often. Stir in the sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Set aside.

  • Pour the stock or water (I used the reserved mushroom soaking water to help make up the amount) into a medium saucepan. Stir in the kasha and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir the mushroom mixture into the pan.

  • Transfer the kasha and mushroom mixture into the prepared casserole dish and add a few dabs of butter over the top if you wish. Cover and dish and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the top begins to brown. Serve hot.

  • *Note: Buckwheat groats may be used if you don't have kasha on hand. Just lightly toast the groats over medium-low heat before adding the stock to the pan.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Kasha Mushroom Gratin

Other baked grain dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Baked Quinoa and Vegetable with Paneer Cheese
Baked Tempeh and Black Japonica Rice Casserole
Baked Mushroom Risotto

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