Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky; for The Washington Post
This grain bowl pulls together traditional Eastern European flavors in a modern way. Its base is kasha, roasted buckwheat, which, despite its name, is not a type of wheat, but a gluten-free seed that cooks like a grain and is traditionally used like one. Buckwheat’s deeply toasty flavor and aroma are matched here with earthy, browned mushrooms and onions, then topped with a runny-yolk egg and sprinkled with fresh herbs for a satisfying and nutritious meal-in-a-bowl. Rather than boiling the kasha, I cooked it in the oven using a winning method I learned from the wonderful book “Beyond the North Wind,” by Darra Goldstein, which I highly recommend.
Bulgur, steel-cut oats or barley cooked according to the directions on their packages would work well as a substitute for the kasha.
Leftover buckwheat and the onion-mushroom mixture can be refrigerated, in separate airtight containers, for up to 3 days.
1 cup (6 3/4 ounces) kasha (coarse-cut, roasted buckwheat groats)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing the dish
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
12 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, toast the buckwheat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and darker brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart covered casserole dish with butter. Add the toasted kasha and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Pour the boiling water over and dot the top with the butter. Cover and place in the oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed; it should take from 20 to 35 minutes (start checking at the 20-minute mark and if there is still liquid, keep checking every 5 minutes). Fluff the buckwheat with a fork, then cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
While the buckwheat is baking, wipe out the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and becomes lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their water and it has evaporated, and the mushrooms and onions are nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the eggs and cook them sunny-side-up, over-easy or however you like.
To serve, divide the kasha among four bowls. Top each with a quarter of the mushroom-onion mixture, place an egg on top, and then garnish with parsley and dill. If desired, season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: about ¾ cup kasha, ½ cup mushrooms and onions, and 1 egg
Per serving: Calories 353; Total Fat 16g (Saturated Fat 4g); Cholesterol 199mg; Sodium 288mg; Total Carbohydrates 39g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Protein 15g; Sugars 4g (including 0g added sugar)