Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crazy Tasty Kasha Varniskes: May The Recipe Live On

Izzy has been home from school this past two days, feverish and mopey. I can't go near him which is hard on us but he has been spending time reading and playing quietly in my bedroom, even allowing me my reflexology session (deserving of a post all its own).

This afternoon he got a sudden burst of energy and began to dance around madly. At the same time, I somehow summoned the energy to make dinner for him, with the help of our Mary Poppins, Claudette. I made Kasha Varniskes , a variation of my grandma's recipe, as I had been dreaming about them last night. Izzy seemed so pleased that I managed to make them for him that he happily gobbled a huge platter of them, as he sat with me in my bedroom. Sadly I could not eat any. Make some and eat them for me!


Grandma Ida's Kasha Varniskes (Buckwheat Groats and Bow ties)

1 cup whole buckwheat groats (small pieces will not do)
1 egg

2 leeks, sliced fine
1 large onion, chopped
handful shiitake mushrooms, sliced
several sprigs thyme, chopped
olive oil

2 cups chicken broth (or a bouillion cube if you must, dissolved in boiling water)

1/2 box of small bowtie pasta, cooked, drained and set aside.


1. Place kasha in a large bowl and break egg on top. Use a spoon to coat kasha with egg so that every piece is shiny. Heat a large non-stick pan and place kasha in pan. Toss continually until kasha is dry and smells nutty, be careful not to burn it and break up any pieces that have stuck together. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile(or simultaneously) place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet with cover (large enough to hold vegetables,kasha and broth). Saute onions, leeks and mushrooms until soft and slightly caramelized, about 10 or so minutes. Toss in thyme.

3. When vegetables are ready, add kasha to skillet and combine with vegetables, pour boiling broth over everything and cover. Simmer very gently for 12-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Toss with bowtie pasta and serve.

Notes: This can be served as a side dish or as a main course with salad on the side. It also freezes well and can be made a day or so in advance and warmed in the oven. Izzy even eats his cold for lunch.

6 comments:

Jess said...

this is my dad's absolute favorite as well. you siblings, you.

The Yummy Mummy said...

Reading you. I'm with you. Always lurking. Checking in. Thinking about you.

Weirdly, you look sexy in a wig. Who would've thought you'd have to get cancer to figure that out.

After you kick cancer's ass, please keep rockin' the wig.

Stay strong, sister.

xo Kim

Michelle Quillin said...

I heard of you in a retweet started by The Yummy Mummy.

I just read through your blog, and I wanted you to know I am praying for you and pulling for you! I have friends who have fought cancer hardcore as you're doing now, and I can tell you that you WILL find the strength to fight back HARD. The strength will come.

Olga said...

I've never had Kasha but this sounds delicious and I will be making it very soon! One question, where do I buy groats? I live here in downtown JC as well so if you know of a local place to get them that would be great!

I'm glad you are finding the strength to do the things you love to do, that will help you stay strong.

Ashley said...

Just checking in and glad to see you are doing well and being able to do what you love...feed Izzy's soul. Stay strong and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. <3

Sassdawg. said...

Was out shopping in Red Bank one day and Funk & Standard had a cookbook titled "First you take a Leek".