Kasha & bows

Kasha & bows

By
From
V is for Vegan
Serves
2-4

A Russian Jewish dish that I learnt from my friend Iris when I lived in Los Angeles for a while, way back when. A young photographer, doing freelance work for the LA Weekly, I also worked the graveyard shift in a top photo lab. Finishing at 4am, I’d go dancing to garage music and ‘Tainted Love’ in downtown clubs, then meet up with Iris at Canter’s Deli, which was open 24/7. I even met a dowdy-looking Bette Midler in the queue, lining up with everyone else. Usually I’d order a root beer float and a bagel, but one night, Iris, a Russian Jewish girl from the valley, spotted a dish in the ‘sides’ section of the vast laminated menu. “Kasha and bows!” she exclaimed, “I was brought up on that.” It was actually a very healthy and filling side dish that cost very little. Iris was one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever known: jetblack hair, pale blue, almond-shaped eyes and white skin. She spent a few years on heroin, which only made her pale eyes paler, for her pupils were tiny, and it made her skin even more alabaster in hue. she was like a punk Snow White.

I left the States after a couple of years – things got too murky. A girl was found dead in her apartment upstairs from mine. An escaped rapist broke into my flat, but I managed to act crazy and scare him off. There were rats living behind my wide retro American fridge. It was time to go home.

I’m happy to report that Iris Berry is now a renowned poet, and still beautiful. This is her aunt’s recipe for kasha and bows.

Kasha is the Russian name for buckwheat, which comes in 2 types: roasted and unroasted. The roasted is darker and nuttier. You can buy this at Eastern European shops. It’s not actually a grain; it’s in the beetroot family and is therefore low GI and gluten free (although the bows are not).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g roasted kasha buckwheat
200ml vegetable stock
250g dried farfalle pasta
50ml olive oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
parsley leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. Get 2 medium saucepans. In one cook the kasha with the vegetable stock (this should take about 15 minutes) and in the other cook the pasta in boiling, salted water (12–15 minutes depending on the brand) until al dente.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook until soft and caramelised. Add the garlic and cook until soft. Finally, add the kasha (which should have absorbed virtually all the stock during cooking) and the drained bows. Cook, tossing, until heated through and coated in the oil and onions. Squeeze the lemon juice over, add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley leaves and serve.
Tags:
Vegan
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