Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually a wheat! It’s actually a seed, which is not only gluten-free, but high in protein, fiber and a whole bunch of other nutrients and antioxidants. It has almost a nutty taste to it and is common in Russian, Asian and Mediterranean food. You may see it being used in pancakes a lot, but it is not a grain.
Nora’s grandmother used to make “kasha” with buckwheat seeds, which is also called groats, but it was definitely not vegan or gluten-free. She would fry the kasha in rendered chicken fat with diced onions, chunks of salty meat, pasta and potatoes. It was delicious, but something she cannot actually eat anymore. Nora wanted that same buckwheat flavor that was vegan, gluten-free and healthier all around.
This buckwheat salad is something of a cross between kasha and tabouli (another Mediterranean food).