Kasha Varnishkes With A Twist

Kasha Varnishkes is a traditional Jewish food.  I believe it has more of an everyday use than being a holiday specialty such as Latkes.  Kasha Varnishkes are typically cooked with chicken stock and schmaltz (chicken fat).  Of course this version has neither, instead I’ve used veg broth and oils.  The standard version has onions and often mushrooms but I’ve added sauted broccoli and sundried tomato to make it a more rounded meal.

Kasha, a toasted hulled buckwheat has a nutty flavor that is brought out by lightly pan toasting it prior to adding the water.  Cooking it is actually quite simple but if undercooked can have a gravelly texture while if overcooked becomes mush.  Don’t let that scare you away.  I managed to create a very edible version while Skyping my son in Prague.  I actually cooked the entire recipe while multi tasking and still the results were delicious.

This is a very versatile dish.  Once again my main dish while my husband grilled a small steak and ate the KV as a side dish.  My version is actually 1.5 times a traditional recipe.  I do this because it refrigerates well for several days and tastes good warm or cold which makes it an ideal work day lunch.  Feel free to use a different variety of vegetables or leave them out altogether (except the onion).


3-5 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 large onions  diced

2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like Baby Bella’s

1 large bunch of broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces

1/2-3/4 cup of julienned sundried tomato in oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt, Freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces bowtie pasta

1 large egg white beaten slightly

1.5 cup whole kasha (whole roasted buckwheat groats)

1 can vegetable broth, 1/2 can water

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions cook until traslucent,  add mushrooms, broccoli, and sundried tomato,  when almost cooked to your liking add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove to a large bowl.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but firm. Drain and toss with the cooked veggies.

Beat the egg white in a small bowl. Add the kasha and stir until all the grains are well coated. Add to the skillet and set it over a high flame stirring, until the grains are toasted and separate, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add and add the hot vegetable stock and water. Stir, cover, and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the kasha is tender but not mushy, about 7-8 minutes.

Stir the vegetable & noodle mixture into the kasha, add parsley and season to taste, drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired

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