I like having hearty salads on hand and grain salads are a nice change to the leafy greens we so typically eat. With Spring in the air, I’m craving all things mint! So watch out! Preserved lemons now pair up with mint!
This salad is a combination of kamut, cilantro and mint. With the kamut as the filler, I needed to add protein and fat to give this salad some sticking power. Who wants to eat and be hungry an hour later? No thanks.
So, hazelnuts were added as a fun alternative to the ordinary almonds and walnuts so typically found in recipes (I am guilty of that too). They also add such a delightful flavor. It’s a shame they don’t see more play time.
Hazelnuts are plentiful where we live and we are fortunate enough to have local growers that provide us with such flavorful crop. Hazelnuts contain a high amount of vitamin E which is a strong antioxidant. In fact, 12 nuts gives you 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. They are also high in fat which will help to satiate you over a longer period of time. The herbs are mostly for flavor but you’ll be happy to know that mint is rich in vitamin A and C, but also helps in digestion and helps relieve indigestion. And who couldn’t use a little fresher breath?
The lengthy part of this recipe is really cooking the Kamut., but with a little planning, this can be done the night before or as part of your Sunday prep for the upcoming week. If you make enough, it can always be added to pilafs and served as a side dish to a number of your weeknight meals.
The information on Kamut is not nearly as extensive as one might find on quinoa, but here are some of the facts that you might find interesting about this giant grain from Wisegeek.com.
“There are some special attributes belonging to Kamut® grain. It is extremely resistant to pests and can be more easily grown organically than most other types of wheat. It’s also been discovered that about 70% of people allergic or sensitive to traditional wheat are not allergic to Kamut® grain. Further, this type of wheat is far more nutritionally sound than other wheat sources. Protein content is 40% higher than traditional wheat, vitamin content is higher, and it has a higher lipid to carbohydrate ratio, which means the grain produces greater energy.”
Click here for source and all the extra tidbits.
I soaked the kamut overnight using whey, but lemon juice or vinegar is also a good option to neutralize the phytic acid and help nutritional absorption and digestion. This step is not mandatory but for those of you following Weston A Price, you’ll find the soaking directions at the end of this post. Soaking the nuts will also increase digestibility. Here is a good link for a “how-to.”
Kamut Herb Salad with Feta and Hazelnuts
- 1 cup Kamut
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1 cup packed mint leaves
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted
In a large pot, add 1 cup of Kamut with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour or until desired doneness is reached. Like wild rice, some backbone should remain. Soaking overnight reduces the cooking time to 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the kamut with cold water to cool the grains for the salad. Save time by making this the night before while you’re watching TV or eating dinner. Roast the hazelnuts while the Kamut is cooking. Set the oven to 325F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Wash cilantro and mint. Remove the leaves from the stem (optional). If you choose to skip this step, chop the herbs before measuring.
In a large bowl, add the kamut, cilantro, mint, feta and hazelnuts. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients together until honey has dissolved. Season with salt and pepper.
Soaking Kamut: Place 1 cup of kamut with 4 cups of water in a large bowl. Add 4 Tbsp of whey. Allow the kamut to soak, covered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse. Cook according to the directions in the recipe.