Monday, June 1, 2009

Early Summer Vegetable and Kamut Berry Salad

This whole grain salad was made spur of the moment, and was delicious. The farmers market was just beautiful on Saturday, and this salad showcases some of the most recent new comers to the market. Kamut Berries (as well as spelt) are an ancient type of wheat, easily digestible, and hypoallergenic. Many people with wheat sensitivities find they can consume Kamut berries. Quick note about cooking Kamut, or any type of wheat berry; they are very chewy. It can be hard to tell when wheat berries are done. They will be tender, non chalky, very chewy, and void of any raw flavor.

Early Summer Vegetable and Kamut Berry Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a light lunch

-1 golden beet
- ½ cup kamut berries
- ¼ pound green beans, stemmed
-7-10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup minced red onion
-Handful chopped and toasted hazelnuts
-1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
-1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-3-4 tablespoons Sherry Vinaigrette
-Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350̊F.

Wash and trim the golden beet. Wrap in foil and place in the oven. Bake the beet, letting it steam in the foil, until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Un-wrap the foil and let cool. Peel and dice the beet into small cubes. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, place the kamut berries and cover with 2 ½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender but still chewy, about 45-60 minutes depending on the age of the berries. Drain, cool, and set aside.
Cut the green beans into thirds. Steam or blanch until tender but still slightly crisp, about 4 minutes. Shock under cold running water and set aside.

Combined the diced beet, kamut berries, green beans, tomatoes, red onion, hazelnuts, mint, tarragon, parsley, and 3 tablespoons of the sherry vinaigrette in a large bowl. Mix well and taste for seasoning. If the salad seems dry, add a little more vinaigrette. Remember, you can always add more, but never take away. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and fresh ground white pepper.

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