In summer, when the weather starts getting warmer I like investing more time making salads rather than cooking. This buckwheat salad is by far my favorite.
This is a fast, tasty and healthy dish. Buckwheat, typical of Valtellina (in the north of Italy), is a gluten free pseudocereal (suitable for people with celiac disease), rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It has many properties including reduction of cholesterol and maintaining good blood pressure levels. Olive oil, rich in “good” fatty acids, gives a delicate flavor that counteracts the spicy taste of chili pepper. Prawns are rich in proteins and low in calories. They do contain cholesterol but like everything in life, moderation is the key according to the Mamma Mia! Diet.
Buckwheat Salad with Prawns
300 g (11 oz) buckwheat
20 prawns, cleaned, washed and dried
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1 hot chili pepper, finely sliced
2-3 tablespoons dry white wine
20-22 semi-dried tomatoes in olive oil
10 leaves of fresh majoram
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
In a bowl marinate the prawns with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and chili for about 30 minutes, covering with plastic wrap. Rinse the buckwheat under cold running water. Bring to boil 1 liter (1 quart) of salted water (about 5 g, 1 teaspoon salt), add the buckwheat, reduce heat and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes (according to the instructions on the package). It must be “al dente.” While the buckwheat is cooking, in a nonstick pan sautè the garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the garlic. Add the prawns, wine and cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. They have to become pinkish but not overcooked. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, removing much of the oil. Drain the buckwheat and mix it with tomatoes. Add the prawns sauce and garnish with majoram leaves and pepper.
Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn is an Italian pharmacist, researcher and food writer. Cooking, eating healthy food and staying active have always been her life-long passions. She has a cooking blog “Passion and Cooking,” and contributes to several international magazines. She has previously published in Italy Love is Eating, focusing on Italian culinary culture.
Paola Palestini is a biochemistry professor at the Medical School of the University Milano-Bicocca, Italy. Recently, Paola has been actively involved in the promotion of the principles of a healthy diet through conferences and in collaboration with several magazines. She is the author of seventy-six scientific articles published in international journals.
Learn more about The Mamma Mia! Diet at www.mammamiadiet.com.