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I’m always excited when I discover a new whole grain. By new I actually mean one of those ancient grains that were known centuries ago but are new to the market.
Like kamut. I posted a recipe using kamut in a salad when I announced that my new cookbook is now available.
Kamut is the brand name for khorasan wheat. According to Andrew Weil, it was “rediscovered” in Egypt in 1949, which is why it is sometimes called “King Tut’s Wheat.” And some people believe that it was the "Prophet’s wheat" that Noah took into the ark.
It has another name too: turanicum, the name that attracted me because I’d never heard of it and it was a new featured product at my local supermarket. I wanted to know what it was and whether I would like it for the ways I use other grains — in salads, soup, casseroles, pilafs and stuffings.
I bought the turanicum not knowing it was kamut, but that’s okay. A rose by any other name ….
Turanicum, kamut, Prophet’s wheat, King Tut’s wheat, khorasan wheat —- call it what you will — this is good stuff. The grains are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with iron and other essential minerals and fatty acids, and has a higher protein value than other forms of wheat. They contain gluten and are not appropriate for those on a gluten free diet.
Turanicum grains are large and have a sweeter flavor than other grains (such as standard wheat, farro, bulgur and so on).
At summer’s end turanicum/kamut/whatever is lovely in a salad: cook it, add some raw or cooked vegetables, fresh herbs and homemade vinaigrette — the possibilities are endless. 
Here’s one version:

Turanicum and Vegetable Salad 
 
1 cup turanicum
2 cups water
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup diced yellow squash
8 medium mushrooms cut into bite size pieces
1 cup chopped tomato
1 small, ripe avocado, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
 
Place the turanicum in a bowl, cover with water and soak for one hour. Drain and place the turanicum in a saucepan. Add the 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 45 minutes or until they grains are tender, but still slightly chewy. If there is any liquid remaining, discard it and place the turanicum in a bowl. While the turanicum is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the scallions, squash and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften them. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the turanicum. Add the tomato and avocado. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and basil together until well blended. Pour over the salad and toss. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. 
 

Makes 6 servings

I’m always excited when I discover a new whole grain. By new I actually mean one of those ancient grains that were known centuries ago but are new to the market.

Like kamut. I posted a recipe using kamut in a salad when I announced that my new cookbook is now available.

Kamut is the brand name for khorasan wheat. According to Andrew Weil, it was “rediscovered” in Egypt in 1949, which is why it is sometimes called “King Tut’s Wheat.” And some people believe that it was the "Prophet’s wheat" that Noah took into the ark.

It has another name too: turanicum, the name that attracted me because I’d never heard of it and it was a new featured product at my local supermarket. I wanted to know what it was and whether I would like it for the ways I use other grains — in salads, soup, casseroles, pilafs and stuffings.

I bought the turanicum not knowing it was kamut, but that’s okay. A rose by any other name ….

Turanicum, kamut, Prophet’s wheat, King Tut’s wheat, khorasan wheat —- call it what you will — this is good stuff. The grains are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with iron and other essential minerals and fatty acids, and has a higher protein value than other forms of wheat. They contain gluten and are not appropriate for those on a gluten free diet.

Turanicum grains are large and have a sweeter flavor than other grains (such as standard wheat, farro, bulgur and so on).

At summer’s end turanicum/kamut/whatever is lovely in a salad: cook it, add some raw or cooked vegetables, fresh herbs and homemade vinaigrette — the possibilities are endless. 

Here’s one version:

Turanicum and Vegetable Salad 

 

1 cup turanicum

2 cups water

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 scallions, chopped

1 cup diced yellow squash

8 medium mushrooms cut into bite size pieces

1 cup chopped tomato

1 small, ripe avocado, cut into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Place the turanicum in a bowl, cover with water and soak for one hour. Drain and place the turanicum in a saucepan. Add the 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 45 minutes or until they grains are tender, but still slightly chewy. If there is any liquid remaining, discard it and place the turanicum in a bowl. While the turanicum is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the scallions, squash and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften them. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the turanicum. Add the tomato and avocado. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and basil together until well blended. Pour over the salad and toss. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Makes 6 servings

A few weeks ago some food-blogger colleagues at MayIHaveThatRecipe.com posted a recipe for montadito - a kind of tapa with crunchy bread as a base (and almost anything on top). The tops on theirs were small, cut up chunks of eggplant frittata. You can find the recipe here.
I thought the idea was such a good one that I decided to embark on my own versions. My favorite was this one, a version of a version. That is, classic Shakshuka is made with braised tomatoes and peppers, a toss of feta cheese and poached egg on top. But I thought the vegetables and cheese could be cooked right along with the eggs, into a frittata.
You can eat the Shakshuka frittata by itself, of course. It’s a terrific brunch dish and way easier to cook than the traditional version.
But I cut it up to imitate my friends’ montadito and it became hors d’ouevre.
Nice thing about Shakshuka in frittata form — you can make it ahead and serve it at room temperature or reheat it.

Shakshuka Frittata 
 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 Serrano chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
8 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon zatar
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup crumbed feta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30 1/4-inch slices baguette bread
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or mayonnaisparsley or basil leaves, optional
 
Preheat the oven broiler with the rack about 6 inches from the heat. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the bell pepper, chili pepper, garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Dish out the vegetables and set them aside. Mix the eggs, milk, basil and zatar together in a bowl. Heat the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Scatter the feta cheese on top. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Stir once or twice, then cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes or until the bottom has set. Place the pan under the broiler for up to a minute or until the frittata is puffed, golden and crispy on top. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. While the frittata is cooking, brush the bread slices on one side with a film of olive oil and toast for a minute or so or until lightly browned OR, toast plain, let cool and spread with a small amount of mayonnaise. Cut the frittata into small squares just large enough to fit on top of the baguette toasts. Garnish with parsley or chopped basil if desired.
 

Makes about 30 hors d’oeuvre

A few weeks ago some food-blogger colleagues at MayIHaveThatRecipe.com posted a recipe for montadito - a kind of tapa with crunchy bread as a base (and almost anything on top). The tops on theirs were small, cut up chunks of eggplant frittata. You can find the recipe here.

I thought the idea was such a good one that I decided to embark on my own versions. My favorite was this one, a version of a version. That is, classic Shakshuka is made with braised tomatoes and peppers, a toss of feta cheese and poached egg on top. But I thought the vegetables and cheese could be cooked right along with the eggs, into a frittata.

You can eat the Shakshuka frittata by itself, of course. It’s a terrific brunch dish and way easier to cook than the traditional version.

But I cut it up to imitate my friends’ montadito and it became hors d’ouevre.

Nice thing about Shakshuka in frittata form — you can make it ahead and serve it at room temperature or reheat it.

Shakshuka Frittata

 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 Serrano chili pepper, deseeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

8 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon zatar

1-1/2 tablespoons butter

1 cup crumbed feta cheese

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

30 1/4-inch slices baguette bread

2-3 tablespoons olive oil or mayonnaisparsley or basil leaves, optional

 

Preheat the oven broiler with the rack about 6 inches from the heat. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the bell pepper, chili pepper, garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Dish out the vegetables and set them aside. Mix the eggs, milk, basil and zatar together in a bowl. Heat the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Scatter the feta cheese on top. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Stir once or twice, then cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes or until the bottom has set. Place the pan under the broiler for up to a minute or until the frittata is puffed, golden and crispy on top. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. While the frittata is cooking, brush the bread slices on one side with a film of olive oil and toast for a minute or so or until lightly browned OR, toast plain, let cool and spread with a small amount of mayonnaise. Cut the frittata into small squares just large enough to fit on top of the baguette toasts. Garnish with parsley or chopped basil if desired.

 

Makes about 30 hors d’oeuvre

You know all those people whose gardens are loaded with so many tomatoes that they can’t possibly use them all and so give them away?
I’m not one of them. Gardening is not one of my strong points. I get tomatoes from handouts from friends and at Farmer’s Markets.
Still, whether you grow them or buy them, end-of-summer tomatoes are sensational. Sweet, juicy, tasting of earth and sun. Like a real tomato.
I used some of my friends’ tomatoes in salads over the past week. We liked this one in particular.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Tomato Salad with Chick Peas, Feta and Peas
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup cooked chick peas (canned is fine)
1 cup thawed, frozen peas
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 thick scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon zatar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place the tomatoes, chick peas, peas, cheese, scallions, mint and zatar in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients again. Pour in the wine vinegar, toss and place the salad in a serving bowl. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings

You know all those people whose gardens are loaded with so many tomatoes that they can’t possibly use them all and so give them away?

I’m not one of them. Gardening is not one of my strong points. I get tomatoes from handouts from friends and at Farmer’s Markets.

Still, whether you grow them or buy them, end-of-summer tomatoes are sensational. Sweet, juicy, tasting of earth and sun. Like a real tomato.

I used some of my friends’ tomatoes in salads over the past week. We liked this one in particular.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tomato Salad with Chick Peas, Feta and Peas

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cup cooked chick peas (canned is fine)

1 cup thawed, frozen peas

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 thick scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon zatar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place the tomatoes, chick peas, peas, cheese, scallions, mint and zatar in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients again. Pour in the wine vinegar, toss and place the salad in a serving bowl. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings