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Sprouted Buckwheat Gluten-Free Blini with Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, and Pumpkin Seed Cream (gluten free, ACD, vegan option)

Posted Jan 15 2010 10:25pm


I think I'm going to start a Sunday brunch series.  Not only is a wonderful brunch a great way to start the weekit is also one of the only times I have the opportunity to make use of natural light to photography food! Seriously - a little sun makes all the difference!  Last week I had Salmon & "Eggs"Scramble.  Today? Buckwheat blinibaby.  Gluten-free blini.  Sproutedeven.  With smoked salmon.  And pumpkin seed cream. Yum.

It seems appropriate to follow up my Russian Salad from the other day with blinianother Russian culinary contribution.  These little blini may not be as light and fluffy and magical as "real" blinibut for a blini made without yeastgluteneggsor dairyI think they are pretty darn good.  I like using the same basic soaked and sprouted blended grain technique I used for my waffles as I do for making pancakes and blini.  They are soft and moistnot too heavyand have a lovelylight buckwheat flavor that isn't too strong.  I love buckwheatbut it can be a little overwhelming sometimes; I cut the buckwheat with some quinoa for a milder flavor.  I think I will probably continue to tweak this blini recipe some as time goes on (as we cooks do) but here is the first published version.  I have a couple other tricks up my sleeve I think could help make these a wee bit fluffier.

Next time I plan to serve this with a little hijiki caviar.  There are many recipes like this one floating around online.  I have made it using a recipe from Myra Kornfield's The Voluptuous Vegan on a number of occasionsand adore it.  Sadlymy seaweed stash is running a little low at the momentso no "caviar" for me this morning.  That's okay thoughbecause I had some tasty pumpkin seed cream (my substitute for craime fraiche)sliced cucumberand a lovely greens salad with azuki miso & mustard vinaigrette to go with it.  

Vegan? Omit the salmon!  Try substituting with thin slices of your favorite lentil or bean loafor if you tolerate soyroasted tempeh or tofu steaks. Orjust serve with cream and a batch of that tasty caviar.

Perfect for breakfasts and brunchesor for the perennial favorite of breakfast-for-dinnerthis is a healthydelicious meal you can feel good about.  And it is easy too!  

SoagainI'll say it: 

Приятного аппетита (prijatnogo appetita)!

Make it: buckwheat blinipumpkin seed cream

Buy it: smoked salmonthinly sliced cucumbercapersfresh dill sprigs or dry dillfreshly cracked pepper

To serve as a breakfast or bruncharrange individual portions of each ingredients on platesallowing each person to make their own blini stacks.  If desiredserve with a greens salad.

To use as an appetizermake appetizer-size blini variation (see recipe below).  Stack one cucumber slicea bit of smoked salmona dollop of creama caperand a bit of dill on top.  If desiredsprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and fleur de sel.   Arrange on a trayand serve.  Bite size blini beauty!

yield 20-22 4" blini

3/4 cup whole buckwheat groats

3/4 cup whole quinoa grains


3/4 cup non-dairy milk (or water)

2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp flax meal

2 Tbsp light olive oilgrapeseed oilor melted ghee

2 Tbsp buckwheat flour

1 tsp salt

optional: 5 drops stevia liquid (I like SweetLeaf)

Rinse quinoa and buckwheat grainsand place in a large bowl.  Cover with 4 cups of waterand let soak for up to 12 hours.  Drain and rinse wellrubbing grains together.

Place soaked grains in a blenderand level off.  Pour in just enough water to cover grainsand blend until grains are almost completely chopped up (if using a Vita-Mix or some other high powered blenderdo not use the High settinggo only as high as highest setting in Low).  Add 3/4 cup milk/wateroilflaxsaltflourand steviaand blend until totally smooth.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a non-stick griddle over medium-low heat until a drop of batter sizzles.  Spoon about 2-3 Tbsp of batter per pancake onto griddleand cook until surface bubblesedges peel away from panand top is setabout 3-4 minutes.  Flipand cook again for 4-6 minutesuntil golden and slightly crisp (cooking time may depend on your griddle and heat settinguse your best judgement).  Transfer to a parchment lined pan in a 150º F oven as you remove them from the griddle.  Let blini warm oven for 15-20 minutes before serving - it will help set up the blini so they aren't mushy in the middleand will soften the crisp edges so they become pliable.  It is worth the waitI promise!

Remove from ovenand let cool slightly.  Serve with salmonor serve as desired.  Leftovers freeze very well.

Appetizer Size Variation (2-inch)

Spoon 1 Tbsp of batter onto griddleand cook for 2-3 minutesthen flip and cook an additional 2-3then place in oven.  Yields LOTS and LOTS of little bliniat least 45 of them.  


yield 1 cup 

Pumpkin seeds have a very strong flavor.  If you find the taste of pumpkin seeds do not agree with yousubstitute all or part of the seeds with cashewsalmondssunflower seedsor hemp seeds for a milder flavor.

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or water)

1/2 tsp dry dill weed

1/4 tsp dry ground mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4-1/2 tsp vitamin C crystalsto taste

3 drops stevia liquid (I like SweetLeaf) - the stevia helps cut the bitterness of the pumpkin seeds

Place 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and all other ingredients in a blenderpulse a few timesthen blend.  With blender running add remaining pumpkin seeds.  Stop blender and scrape sides as necessaryand blend on high until smooth.   Store leftovers in refrigerator.

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