Old is New, again: Kamut, Arugula & Orange Salad
Kamut has a long, varied and mostly forgotten past. Theories of its origins boil down to two: an Egyptian staple in ancient times or, as it is still used today in Iran, camel feed. Since my husband is not a big fan of whole grains, telling him about the camels was out of the question. I focused on the weaker theory of Kamut’s Egyptian origins – however dubious – and started marketing this grain in a way that would appeal to him.
“You know… they say that Egyptians used to grow this wheat in ancient times. Maybe, this is what Cleopatra sent to the Roman Empire.”
I said to evoke visions of chariots loaded with Kamut creaking and gladiators kicking-up dirt marching through ancient Rome behind a glistening gold-venerred bed carried over-head with an Egyptian Queen.
“If you think about it, all of the ingredients in this salad were around in ancient Rome. It could have been served for lunch!” I continued with the hard sell, further embellishing Kamut’s image with hand-woven togas and pillow-covered tricliniums.
He was compelled to try it. “Eh. It’s kind of tasteless,” he shrugged tucking into his bowl.
Kamut has a very neutral flavor – there are no harsh woody or nutty notes that might ordinarily be found in other whole grains. I’ve tried cooking it both with and without salt and recommend anyone tackling this grain for the first time to definitely add the salt in the cooking liquid and cast Kamut in a supporting role for strong, decisive ingredients.
Though, if you’re feeding it to a camel… serve it plain.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||15 min.||High(2)||Natural|
- SERVES: 6-8
- Serving size: ⅛th
- Calories: 126.9
- Tot. Fat: 8.6g
- Tot. Carbohydrates: 11.7g
- Sugar: .04g
- Sodium: 4.3mg
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Protein: 2.8g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 1 cup whole Kamut grains
- ½ lemon
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch Rocket Arugula (about 4oz or 125g or 2 loosely packed cups)
- 2 medium blood oranges, peeled, sliced cross-wise & segments separated
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 oz (75g) shelled walnuts walnuts, roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese ribbons (optional)
- Rinse the kamut and place in large bowl with about 4 cups of water and the juice of ½ a lemon.
- Soak overnight (about 12 hours) then rinse and strain kamut just before using.
- To the pressure cooker add the strained Kamut, water, salt and vegetable oil.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 15-18 minutes at high pressure.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and wait for the lid-locking pressure indicator to go down (20 to 30 minutes).
- Strain the Kamut and rinse it to cool down .
- In a serving bowl combine kamut, arugula, orange pieces, walnuts and olive oil. Mix well and drizzle with Pecorino Romano ribbons, if using, before serving. Keeps in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for several days.