I'm not a big fan of buckwheat (kasha)--it's too dry for my tastes, so I rarely make it. In fact, I've had a big package of kasha in my pantry for months and I hadn't made it once. But I am willing to reexamine my food prejudices.
I got the idea for the kasha from--what else?--Anya von Bremzen's Please to the Table. She has a promising recipe with lots of butter and wild mushrooms that you have to soak for two hours, but I went for the quick and easy version. I also wasn't sure about serving kasha with tilapia. Usually I do some kind of Asian or Mediterranean sauce when making fish, but what the hell.
To make the kasha, I brought a cup of water to boil and added half a cup of buckwheat along with a little salt. Simmered until all the water was absorbed; about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I diced and sauteed a big onion and half a pound of mushrooms in a couple of tablespoons of butter, adding some chopped parsley at the end. A sprinkle of sage, salt, pepper. Added the cooked kasha to the skillet, mixed in a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, dumped the whole thing in a casserole dish.
Seared a couple of tilapia fillets and put them on top of the kasha. Made a quick sauce of butter, white wine and lemon juice; poured this over the fish. Baked until the fish was done.
This was surprisingly good, especially the kasha--fluffy and satisfying. I still think that kasha is kind of blah on its own, but it does go well with sauteed fix-ins, especially onions or mushrooms. It's also good with saucy food, like stew. I'll have to make Anya von Bremzen's fancy version of this, but not till the fall. Kasha is really more of a hearty cold-weather food and it actually felt like May today. Ah, well. I still overcame a food prejudice.