Kamut… Perhaps Kaput
January 17th, 2012 - By Lari Robling
It had been staring at me in my pantry for some time — one of those purchases born out of "yeah-that-will-be-good-for-me" thinking.
Kamut is a high protein whole grain and, depending on whose history you believe, has ancient roots somewhere in present day Turkey or Egypt. Oh, and there's something about an American airman in 1949 saving it from obscurity. The legend and lore, however, was not enough to compel me to actually cook it once I discovered it requires two hours of cook time and an overnight soak is recommended.
But every grain must have its time in the sun, so on a slow Sunday afternoon I cooked up a pot of Kamut.
It was not love at first bite — the grains are quite big so the texture can be formidable. My first thought was that it might make a good breakfast cereal similar to pin oats so I added some milk and cranberries. It was like eating a bowl of bullets. I missed the creaminess of oatmeal.
Some web searching advised that whole Kamut makes a good meat substitute in chili. It doesn't! About the best use I came up with was adding some to my lunch salad. The texture worked like a crouton and the nutty flavor was a substitute for the handful of almonds I often add.
Still, there's three-quarter of a pound of this stuff left to cook. Anyone have some favorite whole Kamut berry recipes to share?