I had my first visit to a brand new Whole Foods store in Laguna Niguel a few days ago. It is RIDICULOUS! I walked around in an awestruck daze for about 20 minutes before I even put anything in my cart. From the bulk bins to the organic juice bar to the unbelievably stocked deli where they have organic rotisserie chickens…ORGANIC! I’m already dreaming of all the things I can cook with access to the endless selection of fabulous food that they sell.
One of the things I bought in my shopping frenzy was Kamut. Kamut is the brand name for an ancient grain called Khorasan Wheat. It has more protein, vitamins, and minerals than modern wheat and is about twice the size. Whole Foods sells it in their bulk bins and I believe they had it packaged too. I have also seen it at other health food stores and on Amazon.com. Kamut cooks up best when it it soaked over night. That reduces the cooking time by quite a bit. It is chewy, a little nutty, and delicious!
I did a little research and saw that most recipes I found use it in salads. I decided to make a salad with it and add wild rice and whole wheat pearl couscous because that’s what I happened to have. I love whole grain salads that combine different grains together. It does require the time consuming job of cooking all the grains separately, but you can do it ahead of time and they are all really easy to cook…just like making rice. I brought my salad to a friend’s house for a Memorial Day BBQ and it was a hit. I decided to give you the recipe exactly as I made it which probably serves about 10-12…it makes a lot. You could cut it in half but it is so good and the left overs taste even better…might as well make a big batch! I actually recommend that you give this time in the fridge so the flavors can come together and the grains can soak up the yummy dressing. Also, the dried blueberries and dried cranberries get a chance to plump up a little and taste even better.
If you can’t track down Kamut, you could substitute wheat berries, spelt or farro.
Wild Rice adds an interesting color to the salad along with it’s yummy distinctive flavor.
I love this whole wheat pearl couscous.
The toasted almonds add a great crunch.
Kamut and Wild Rice Salad
- 1 cup Kamut, pre soaked
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous)
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped small
- 1 small shallot, chopped small
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3/4 cup dried blueberries
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups of unsalted, toasted nuts (I used slivered almonds, but a combo of pecans and almonds would be delicious)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Whisk together the following ingredients:
2 tablespoons of raspberry or fig balsamic vinegar (regular works fine too), 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Once they are all well combined, slowly whisk in about 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Making the Salad:
The first step in this dish is cooking your grains and couscous. Cook each one separately – according to the package directions. Make sure you add about a quarter teaspoon of salt to each one while it cooks. For the Kamut, it’s one cup of grain to 4 cups of water, bring water to boil, add your pre-soaked Kamut, cover and reduce heat for 45 minutes, drain excess water when done. For the wild rice, rinse first then bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add rice, reduce heat, simmer for about 40 minutes, drain excess water when done. For the couscous, It’s 1 cup couscous to 1 1/4 cup of water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Once all of your grains have cooled a little, combine them together in a big bowl. Add the chopped celery, shallots, scallions, parsley, dried fruit, and 3/4 of the dressing and mix well. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. To serve right away, add all the dressing and the nuts and mix well. If you are serving this later, don’t add the nuts yet, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. Let it get back to room temperature, add the rest of the dressing and the nuts just before serving.
The left overs make great lunches!
Dana…thanks for the fabulous post title. I will be consulting you when I need another creative name!
Interested in other recipes using Kamut? Here are some that I want to try!
- Broccoli Kamut Slaw from The Muffin Myth