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Recipes Salad Wilted Spinach Salad with Kamut
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Wilted Spinach Salad with Kamut E-mail
Written by Whole Grain Gourmet   
Saturday, 17 May 2008 20:06

kamut spinach salad

On a beautiful spring day, perhaps nothing makes a better lunch than a salad that is at once refreshing and hearty. Something that will give you the nutrients and energy to get through an active outdoor day without slowing you down. This morning, I awoke inspired to whip up a hearty grain salad for lunch. A trip to the market yielded some yellow squash, fresh mushrooms, red onions, and red pears. My local health food store recently started carrying Kamut so it seemed like an appropriate time to experiment with it.

Kamut is an ancient grain which, some claim, was first cultivated more than 6000 years ago in the Nile river valley. Kamut is richer in protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential lipids than modern wheat varieties. It is characterized by a milder, more buttery flavor.

I prepared the Kamut a day in advance and, after tasting it, decided that it would work well with some sauteed vegetables over wilted spinach. I chose to caramelize the squash and red onions, pan roast the sliced garlic, and lightly brown the mushrooms. I then created a warm balsamic vinaigrette in the same pan, thus incorporating all of the brown bits from the onions and garlic. Red pear introduces some sweetness for balance. Pecorino Romano punctuates it all with delicious bursts of salty goodness.

The result was a delightfully fresh, nutritionally rich, and satisfying lunch with a Tuscan leaning. We really enjoyed it as a vegetarian meal, but it would work well if complimented with grilled meat. At a glance, it may appear to be a lot of work. However, aside from boiling the kamut, it all happens sequentially in a single pan.

 

Wilted Spinach Salad with Kamut and Sauteed Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked kamut, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4"
  • 3/4 lb yellow squash, sliced 1/4"
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup cubed Pecorino Romano
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pear, cored and sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to saute
  • 2-3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Place the kamut in 4 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 50-60 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly at room temperature.
  2. Place the sliced squash in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tsp kosher salt. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will draw out much of the water which would otherwise prevent the squash from caramelizing. Drain the squash and pat dry.
  3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauteuse over medium heat. Add the squash and saute for about two minutes until one side begins to brown, turn over and saute the other side for an additional two minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from pan and set aside in a large bowl (you will build your salad in this bowl).
  4. Add the sliced onion to the pan and saute until it begins to caramelize. Remove from pan and set aside with the squash.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the garlic. Reduce the heat slightly.
  6. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the sliced mushroom and stir in pan for one minute. Add one tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar and stir. Allow mushrooms to lightly brown and then remove and set aside with the squash.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat. Add up to 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pan (*you might scale this back a little if you were heavy handed with the oil while sauteing) and 1-2 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar. Stir to incoporate the brown bits into the warmed dressing. Pour over the sauteed vegetables. Add the pine nuts and kamut. Toss well.
  8. Add the spinach, sliced pear, and 1 tsp of kosher salt and toss well, allowing the spinach to wilt.
  9. Garnish each serving with some of the cubed Romano. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, and salt if desired, to taste.  

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