Kamut – an ancient grain for modern times

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raw kamut berries

raw kamut berries

With all the focus on gluten free, why not switch up the grains in your diet and add a healthy wheat grain – Kamut. While it has gluten, it may actually be healthier for those without celiac disease. And it’s delicious! We used this grain to make the side dish at our Spring Entertaining cooking class. It’s pretty enough for company and it’s not the same boring rice side dish you may have made zillions of times. Another plus is that it holds up well when made a day in advance, saving you more time on party day.

Bob's Red Mill sent me this package of kamut.

Bob’s Red Mill sent me this package of kamut.

Kamut is one of the whole wheat grains in Bob’s Red Mill’s offerings. It looks like brown rice, but it doesn’t stick together when it’s cooked the way rice does. The Whole Grain Council can give you all the details on the nutrition facts, but consider this. Fiber is the magic word in good nutrition and kamut has 1.8 grams of fiber in 16 grams compared to brown rice at a measly .6. That’s triple the fiber. Other number crunching points to kamut with 11.1% fiber and brown rice at 3.5%. It’s also filled with protein and iron. Wow! You’ve got to give this a try.

Personally, I’m not going to eat anything that tastes like cardboard even if it is healthy. But kamut has a wonderful nutty brown rice flavor. It will satiate your palate and not leave you hungry. Add some vegetables to it and you will have an interesting, tasty and healthful new side dish. Or if you are trying to eat less pasta, replace it with kamut in your favorite recipes. Just cook up the kamut and add your favorite pasta topping to it. Yummy! OK, this may not work with your red sauce.

Kamut with Asparagus, Peas and Roasted Lemon pairs well with Salmon.

Kamut with Asparagus, Peas and Roasted Lemon pairs well with Salmon.

Serve it with fish, like we did at our Spring Entertaining class with this Salmon with Pesto and Fig Balsamic Drizzles.

You will need to plan ahead a little when using kamut. Soak the kamut overnight if you can, as this will reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes. Then add the kamut with water to a pot and cook for another 40 minutes (60 without presoaking). Drain and set aside. At this point, you can refrigerate the kamut to complete your recipe at a later time or day.

Roasted asparagus and defrosted peas.

Roasted asparagus and defrosted peas.

Prep the veggies. We roasted asparagus and combined them with frozen peas, simply defrosted.

Roasted lemon slices

Roasted lemon slices

We also roasted lemon slices, which could be chopped and added to the kamut or used as a beautiful garnish.

Beautifully plated salmon and kamut at our Spring Entertaining class.

Beautifully plated salmon and kamut at our Spring Entertaining class.

The result is sensational. Look at our pretty Spring Entertaining table. Colorful. Great presentation. Healthful and most important, GREAT TASTE! To get the Salmon with Fig Balsamic and Pesto drizzles, click here.

Scallops, fava beans and kamut.

Scallops, fava beans and kamut.

Kamut is easy to work with. Here I used it in a simple scallop dish with fresh fava beans and oregano from my garden.

Italian Farro and Fava or Soybean Salad

Italian Farro and Fava or Soybean Salad

For more whole wheat grain recipes, check out my Italian Farro and Fava or Soy Bean Salad.

Print this Recipe

Kamut Berries with Asparagus, Peas and Roasted Lemon

Kamut berries sound exotic. Get this organic whole wheat grain from Bob’s Red Mill. The package says they are “the traditional grain of Egypt”. The taste is like a nutty brown rice. Absolutely delicious with some vegetables added. For best results, soak your kamut in water overnight, then drain. This will reduce cooking time by about 20 minutes.

1 1/2 cups kamut berries
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 teapoon+ kosher salt
1 lemon
4 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 pound asparagus spears
1/2 pound frozen baby peas, defrosted
1 leek
1 pinch Fresh-ground black pepper

1. If you have the time, soak the kamut berries overnight and drain. Add the kamut to a pot with 4 1/2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 minutes or 40 minutes if presoaked. Make sure water in pot does not run dry. Test the kamut. It will be done when tender but al dente. Remove from heat and drain off any excess liquid. This process can be done in advance and reheated later.

2. While kamut is cooking, roast the lemon. Slice lemon crosswise into thin slices. Remove and discard any seeds. Place lemon slices in a bowl and toss with salt and pepper + 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Lay the lemon slices on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in a 375° oven for 18 to 24 minutes, removing slices as they are golden in color. Watch carefully that lemon slices don’t burn.

3. On a separate baking sheet, toss asparagus spears with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out in a single layer. Roast in same oven for about 5 minutes just before serving. Remove from oven and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces.

4. Cut leek lengthwise, wash out any sand, then cut white and light green part crosswise into thin slices. In kamut pot, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil, add leek slices and cook until wilted. Add kamut back into pot along with the cooked asparagus, defrosted peas and give it a sitr. Serve, garnishing with the roasted lemon slices. Another option is to chop lemon slices and mix in.

Servings: 6 293 calories per serving

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Oven Temperature: 375°F

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