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Kasha Pumpkin Pilaf with Shitake Mushrooms (Gluten Free)

By: 
Deborah Rood Goldman
Kasha Pumpkin Pilaf with Shitakes
Photo: Deborah Rood Goldman
Photo: Deborah Rood Goldman

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. 

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small pumpkin, or substitute butternut, acorn, or kombucha squash, peeled, cubed and roasted
1/4 head of small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 handful dried shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, then thinly sliced
1 cup whole grain buckwheat (kasha)
1 egg
2 cups broth, water, or bouillon
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Directions: 
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Gently stir in the roasted pumpkin or squash cubes, sauteed onion, cabbage, and shitake mushrooms.

    Deborah Rood Goldmana 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.