Buckwheat, Carrot, Parsnip and Leek Salad with Tahini Poppy Dressing

It’s always a running joke in my family that if I am at the dinner table the amount of veggies need to be doubled.  Needless to say I was super excited when my sister and SKORDO co-founder Annie showed me that Sister Pie had a whole section on salads!  This Buckwheat, carrot, parsnip and leek salad was no disappointment!  For our purposes we served the salad on the side of some delicious pork and therefore skipped the buckwheat to make it lighter.  I have no doubts the added buckwheat would create a perfect meal bowl on its own.  

Tahini Poppy Dressing

Makes 1 cup


  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons thick, plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, hot water, yogurt, honey, mustard, salt and poppy seeds.  Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking until smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  To store, transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


Buckwheat, Carrot, Parsnip and Leek Salad

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch-long by ½-inch-wide pieces on the diagonal
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch-long by ½-inch-wide pieces on the diagonal
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and julienned
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats, toasted
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula
  • ¾ cup Tahini Poppy Dressing
  • ½ cup pepitas, toasted


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  place the carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper.  Transfer to the oven and roast for 45 to 50 minutes, until the carrots and parsnips are fork-tender.  Set on a cooling rack.

Fill a large bowl with cold water.  Slosh the leeks around in the water to remove the dirt.  Using a spider, transfer the leeks to a clean kitchen towel and pat them dry.  Place the leeks on a baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the vinegar.  Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the leeks are caramelized.  Set on a cooling rack.

To cook the buckwheat groats, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil.  Add the toasted buckwheat groats and return to a full boil.  Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside until fully cooked.

Place the arugula in a large serving bowl, then add the carrots, parsnips, leeks and buckwheat.  Pour ¾ cup of the dressing over the salad and use a spoon to gently incorporate.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more dressing if desired.  Top with the pepitas and serve.

This salad is best eaten right after mixing, but can also be assembled, except for the arugula and pepitas, which should be added right before serving, and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.



Recipe credit to Lisa Ludwinski and our February 2021 Cookbook of the Month, Sister Pie

Emily Karonis

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