Lemon Asparagus Buckwheat & Quinoa Risotto

If you want to have one of those fun dinner parties where you surprise everyone at the table—the herbivores and the omnivores—make this dish. It’s a rich, creamy alternative to buttery, cheesy risotto that’s so delicious, you’ll never know it’s dairy-free and gluten-free. So tell your guests all about the ingredients after they’ve raved about it the whole meal.

Makes 4-6 servings

Takes: 30 minutes

Chef’s knife
Zester (optional)
Large stock pot with lid
Large skillet
Silicone spatula or large spoon

Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup dry, hulled buckwheat groats
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 2″ lengths
1 cup veggie stock (make your own)
1 yellow onion, chopped (here’s a tip)
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (here’s a tip)
1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
1-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

Cream Sauce
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2-4 hours
2/3 cup pure water
1 tsp fine ground sea salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Let’s get started.
Soak the buckwheat and quinoa overnight (here’s a post explaining why), rinse and drain well—you want the seeds as dry as possible.

Wash your asparagus. Bend the stalks until they snap naturally towards the end of the stalk. This is a trick I learned from a pal of mine—instead of cutting off ends, you let the asparagus tell you where the good part is. Ssssnap. Repeat until all stalks are freshly trimmed and slice into 2″ lengths. Set aside.

Remove leaves from thyme and give them a rough chop to release essence. Prepare lemon zest with zester or knife. If you are doing it by hand, simply slice off the rind, trying to shave off only the yellow—the white pith is bitter. Chop up well.

Warm broth in a saucepan over medium/low heat. You just want it warm, don’t let it boil.

In your stock pot (where the magic happens)…

…warm coconut oil over medium heat and cook onion for 5 minutes (below, top left). Stir constantly. Add zest, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, buckwheat and quinoa and cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly (below, top right). Add wine and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed (below, bottom left), stirring constantly. You can just skip on to the next step if you are going sans wine. Add broth to the stock pot, stir well and cover (below, bottom right).

Once covered, reduce heat to medium and cook for 7 minutes. Toss in asparagus, cover again and cook 3 more minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

While cooking, place all cream sauce ingredients in the blender and mix on high until ultra smooth.

After the 3-minute mark with the asparagus addition, stir in cream sauce and thyme and cook 3 more minutes. Then you’re done.

Sauce thickens as it cools so serve warm. If you need to extend the time, add a few tablespoons of broth and stir. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge and reheat on the stove top.

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  1. Amazing!!! I am making this tonight. What if I don’t have buckwheat groats? Would a full cup of quinoa suffice?

  2. Pamela

    I need to impress dinner guests this weekend. Thanks for the entree!

  3. It was absolutely delicious! I should have doubled the recipe though… I almost ate all of it before Alex got home from coaching rugby. 🙂 Such a great meal!

  4. Devin

    Great recipe!

  5. Molly

    Rea, thanks for the suggestion to just use a full cup of quinoa (I didn’t have buckwheat groats either). Oh the yumminess.

  6. Lisa

    This is incredible delicious and so easy to make. Thank you Heather!

  7. Nimisha

    My husband is allergic to quinoa. Will this recipe work with only buckwheat groats?

  8. Is it possible that YU recipes keep getting better and better? I just made this for lunch and should have at least tripled it, it’s that good!

  9. Jacqueline

    This was delicious – I used half quinoa and half millet. It worked great!

  10. I don’t love buckwheat and am always looking for recipes that use it. This one sounds like a winner, can’t wait to make it. Am going right now to soak everything.

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