Thursday, March 8, 2012

Khorasan Wheat Assignment: Part 1 - Grain Salad

A friend of mine gave me some khorasan wheat (an ancient large wheat variety, less tampered with by society than traditional wheat; so much so that they say some people with a wheat allergy might be able to eat this grain; you may know it by the brand name Kamut) and tasked me with cooking with it and coming up with some recipes.  The ultimate goal is dish (probably a grain salad) to be served to the masses at Cultivating Food Justice 2012 (a week of events April 28-May 5; more details coming soon).  No problem!  Sounds like fun!  I love being exposed to new whole, healthy foods.

This requires overnight soaking before cooking and a higher water to grain ratio (3-4:1) and longer cook time (like 40-60 minutes) so it needs some planning ahead.

I just made my first batch (I soaked about 1/3 cup of grains in about 1 cup water over night, brought it to a boil this morning and cooked it on a simmer with a pinch of sea salt for about 45 minutes. My intention was to make oatmeal-type hot breakfast cereal.

After cooking, the grains were still quite firm and chewy, which I liked but not for breakfast cereal. So I let them cool and turned them into a grain salad for lunch instead.  They cooked up to about a cup.  To this I added:

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley from Suzie's Farm
1/3 cup chopped tomato (tomatoes are just starting to show up at the farmers markets and I actually have some ripe on a volunteer plant that I've mostly ignored)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion from Schaner Farm
1 garlic clove, minced, also from the Schaner's
drizzled with Balsamic vinegar & Ensenada olive oil
a few pinches of sea salt
a crank of freshly ground pepper

...and tossed the ingredients together
...and enjoyed it quite a lot.

This grain is nutty and chewy, similar to a wheat berry.  Others might prefer it cooked with more water for a little longer so it is softer and less toothsome.  (I tend to like my food more al dente, less cooked, than others)

Stay tuned for more adventures in cooking with khorasan wheat...

Mix the cooked grain with your favorite salad ingredient combos.
Instead of tomato, try roasted winter squash.
Use the cooked grain instead of pasta in pasta salad or other grain salad recipes.

Or instead of khorasan wheat, try another cooked grain (wheat berries, bulgur, quinoa, millet, cous cous, rice...), chopped kale or lettuce for a green salad, pasta for a pasta salad, or croutons for a panzanella salad.

No comments:

Post a Comment