A simple, crispy 100% buckwheat flour waffle gets topped with sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach, a poached egg, and caramelized onions... Savory Buckwheat Waffle With Spinach, Crimini, and Caramelized Onion might be a healthy, vegetarian answer to "chicken and waffles!"
I grew up in southern California, and remember occasional trips to Sambo's Restaurant, a popular pancake house at the beach in Orange County. I loved the buckwheat pancakes. I moved away when I was 16, and I forgot all about those pancakes until I became very interested in cooking with whole grains for my young family when we moved back to Orange County more than a decade later. I made buckwheat pancakes for my husband and 4 small sons, and I continue to make them so many years later. I love their nutty, wholesome flavor and texture!
Recently, though, I began thinking about ways to incorporate this wholesome grain into savory recipes. I have never been a fan of chicken and waffles because of the refined white flour waffles and fried chicken (not compatible with our healthy lifestyle) but I liked the idea of a savory buckwheat waffle as a base for healthy toppings. It seemed a bit outside-the-box, but that is not unusual for this girl. I decided to play around with this idea on a recent #MeatlessMonday evening while enjoying time with my sister from California. I think Cori would agree it worked!
As I mentioned, the base of this dish is a delicious gluten-free buckwheat waffle like this one from Cookie and Kate. The only substitution I made was to omit the cinnamon and use coconut oil rather than butter. I have also used an organic buckwheat pancake and waffle mix when I'm looking to shave off a few minutes. Start by caramelizing a large, sweet onion. This process requires about 30 minutes; by the time the onions are nicely caramelized, the other components should be ready. While the onions cook, prep the buckwheat waffle batter, and sauté the mushrooms and spinach mixture. Cook the waffles, poach the eggs, and assemble the dish! You can't wait to dig your fork into this one... I promise!
If savory waffles sound delicious but you've got to have some "meat," you might want to check out my Savory Waffles With Green Chile and Sausage Gravy. Bacon and Pecan Waffles With Cinnamon-Red Chile Syrup and Orange Mascarpone is a decadent sweet waffle option. It's time to heat up your waffle iron, and give one of these recipes a try...
Buckwheat Waffle With Spinach, Crimini, and Caramelized Onion
- 1 large sweet onion halved and sliced thin
- a drizzle of olive oil
Buckwheat Waffles - 4 small buckwheat waffles see notes
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar coconut sugar is great!
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 large egg
Mushrooms and Spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ¼ cup mushroom or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons miso paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 4 eggs preferred style see notes
- Italian flat leaf parsley
- pecorino romano or other hard cheese
To a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil then add onions. Stir to coat. Cook until well-browned (caramelized) being careful to not burn them. Stir occasionally. This process will take about 30 minutes depending on how hot the pan is.
While the onions caramelize, pre-heat your waffle iron, and mix the ingredients for your buckwheat waffle batter. Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Follow instructions on your waffle iron to cook them.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saute pan. If your onions are finished, you can remove them and use the same pan. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms get some nice caramelization on them - about 5 to 10 minutes depending on how hot the pan is.
De-glaze the pan with the dry sherry and broth. Add the miso paste and thyme.
Cook another 4 to 5 minutes until liquid is reduced by about half. Toss in the baby spinach, drizzle with the sherry vinegar, and stir to combine well. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Prepare your eggs as desired
Top each waffle square with one-fourth of the mushroom and spinach mixture, 1 egg, and a bit of the caramelized onion.
Garnish with parsley and shaved pecorino if desired. Enjoy!
I use one 4" x 4" waffle square per serving as the base for this dish. This Cookie and Kate recipe Buckwheat Waffles makes enough batter for about 5 of these 4" x 4" waffles. You can also use a buckwheat pancake and waffle mix.
100% buckwheat flour is gluten-free. If you are gluten sensitive, be sure to check your brand of flour or mix.
We love this dish with a runny poached egg. Prepare the eggs the way you prefer. A runny yolk makes a perfect sauce that compliments the flavors and textures of this dish perfectly!