I love simplicity. More accurately, I have grown to love simplicity. During my adolescent years, I gravitated towards anything loud and extravagant – my attempt at trying to cover up my timid, awkward self. Oh those fun years of struggling to find self-worth..I don’t miss them one bit. I definitely believed that more meant better. I would spend hours caking on makeup, purchasing the most complex gadgets, etc. However, as I age and have become more comfortable in my own skin, I’ve come to appreciate the elegance and beauty in simplicity. Underneath its plain surface lurks a subtle sophistication that is oh so lovely. This appreciation stretched to food preferences as well.
For instance, my favorite pizza growing up was the one that came with the works. Ironic, considering I picked off most of the toppings and really just tackled the cheese and the crust. Margherita style is now my pizza of choice. The recipe couldn’t be simpler – basil, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and voila! Simplicity at its finest. Of course, the pizza crust plays an extremely crucial role, but I won’t get into that right now (I’ve been told I’m quite the pizza crust nazi). A couple of weeks ago, my father-in-law wanted to go out for some pizza. As he is going through chemotherapy right now, we jump at any opportunity to find something he may actually enjoy eating. We went to California Pizza Kitchen and ordered several varieties, including, yup you guessed it, margherita pizza. Ever since then, I’ve been craving it nonstop.
Fastforward a week. While wandering around the grocery store (this is very rare since I normally go with a game plan – in and out in less than 30 min), I found fresh mozzarella. It was the last one on the shelf, and I could not possibly allow for it to get in the hands of a stranger. Into the cart it went. Muhahaha. Unfortunately, the excitement clouded my thought process. I came home and realized I was missing tomatoes and pizza dough. I turned to my well-stocked pantry (yes, I’m bragging as I take extreme pride in it) for some inspiration. In no time, I was inhaling a bowl of what I’d like to call kamut margherita salad.
- 1 cup kamut (or other whole grain..e.g farro, wheatberry)
- 3 bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls), sliced
- 3/4 cup chickpeas
- 10 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced
- Basil, torn into pieces
- 3 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp EVOO
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to season
- Add 3 parts water to 1 part kamut. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, approx 45 min to an hour.
- When the grain’s almost done cooking, start prepping the rest of the ingredients. Stir together balsamic vinegar, EVOO, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside. Tear the basil leaves. Slice the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
- In a medium bowl, combine everything together. Serve.
You can enjoy it all by itself or serve alongside fish, chicken, pork, etc. I stirred in some rotisserie chicken the next day to take to school, and it was delish!
Have you heard of kamut before? It’s a type of wheatberry and is twice the size of an average wheat kernel. I was pleasantly surprised by its buttery, nutty, and subtly sweet flavor. Out of all the grains I’ve tried so far, this one has the most chew. It is rich in protein (7g/serving) and is a great source of selenium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
It does take a long time to cook (approx 45 min to an hour) so to speed things up, I highly recommend you to soak it overnight. What I like to do is to cook a huge batch on Sunday and freeze in small portions to enjoy when the going gets tough ;).
So what do you think? Simple yet lovely, right? I’m in love with these golden, nutrient-dense kernels. Their intense “pop” is unmistakeable. Give this grain a try! And once again, a big thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sending me this product!