Kasha Pumpkin Pilaf with Shitake Mushrooms (Gluten Free)
My goal was to build a healthy and delicious grain bowl that was low-fat and filling. This combo of sweet pumpkin, sautéed crunchy cabbage and flavorful shitakes fits the bill.
A good friend whose diet is gluten-free was dubious when I assured him that the kasha pilaf I'd brought to a temple pot luck was indeed gluten-free. Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat. Kasha comes from the buckwheat plant, which belongs to the same family as rhubarb. Though it looks and cooks like a grain, it's actually the seed of a fruit. After roasting, buckwheat is called kasha. I left out the classic bowtie noodles in classic kasha varnishkas to build an autumn grain bowl, perfect during Sukkot for a meal in the sukkah and to enjoy on Shabbat throughout the fall and winter.
- In nonstick pan, gently sauté onions until translucent. Add cabbage and mushrooms, and cook until cabbage is slightly wilted but still crunchy. Remove from heat and place vegetables aside in a bowl.
- Beat egg in small bowl and stir in kasha to coat the kernels. Pour kasha-egg mixture into pan on stovetop and toast grains over medium-high heat until the kernels separate, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 2 cups broth, water or bouillon, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Simmer 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Gently stir in the roasted pumpkin or squash cubes, sauteed onion, cabbage, and shitake mushrooms.
Deborah Rood Goldman, a longtime member of the Garden City Jewish Center in Garden City, NY, currently serves as the congregation’s president. She is a digital communications producer on the Union for Reform Judaism's marketing and communications team. A native New Yorker, Deborah grew up on Long Island, and holds a bachelor’s degree in American civilization from Brown University and a master’s degree in library science from Queens College.