It took me several years of working here before I took home my first bag of plump, golden Kamut® berries and I’ve been hooked ever since! Did you know “Kamut” is a trademarked term held by Kamut International and it cannot be used as an adjective? Take that little factoid and save it for your next dinner party.
Kamut® berries cook up firm with a delightful chewy texture and almost buttery flavor. Unlike white rice or barley, this ancient relative of wheat, properly known as Kamut® Khorasan Wheat, is perfect when you want a grain to maintain its texture and identity in your dish. It won’t get mushy, which is why you want to drain off any excess liquid when it’s done cooking rather than cooking it until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Earthy mushrooms and savory parmesan complement the fat kernels of Kamut® grain and make this vegetarian main course or side into an unforgettable meal. Pair this with some steamed greens and crusty bread for a hearty dish perfect for chilly winter weather.
Kamut® Grain and Shiitake Risotto with Thyme
If Kamut® berries are hard to come by, you can use wheat berries or even long grian brown rice instead.
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 1/2 cup Onion, minced
- 1 Tb fresh Thyme, stems removed
- 1 cup Organic Kamut® Berries
- 1/2 cup White Wine, dry
- 2 large Dried Mushrooms, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock, divided
- 4 oz fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 2 oz Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese (optional)
- 2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
In a heavy 4-quart pot, sauté onion and thyme in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion are clear and soft. Add Kamut® berries, stir to coat grains thoroughly. Add wine and cook, stirring until absorbed. Add 3 ½ cups of the stock and dried mushrooms, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Set time for an hour.
When the time goes off, check the kamut for doneness. It will probably need another 30 minutes. Take off the lid and stir often until the liquids are very thick. Remove and put it in a food processor bowl. Process until coarsely pureed, then pour in the reserved stock with the machine running. Transfer back to the pan and bring to a simmer again until thick, about 5-10 minutes.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl pan to coat. Add the shiitakes and stir constantly until seared and shrunken, about 3 minutes. Take off heat and stir in parsley. Stir all but 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and the mascarpone, if using, into the risotto and serve topped with shiitakes and sprinkled with remaining parmesan. Makes 5 servings.