Saturday, September 13, 2008
Weekend Herb Blogging: Amaranth Salad
Every now and then I stumble across ingredients that I am just not sure how to cook. A lot of these finds have come from the Thai family who sells produce at my farmers market. With the seasons changing, today I saw a new ingredient I tried in early summer and just never got posted — amaranth.
The color attracted me, this brilliant purple and green. I had to know what it was and how to cook it. The best idea I could get from the woman selling it was to make a tea. I bought a bunch, brought it home. I poured through all my cookbooks and online trying to find recipes. The closest I could get was a few sentences in Alice Water's Chez Panisse Vegetables that said to saute the greens with garlic or use in a salad. That's it. Other than references to its use as a grain. So, I will now best the goddess of local food herself and offer up an actual amaranth recipe. Heh.
Both the grain and leaves come from amaranth. There are about sixty species of the plants, otherwise known as pigweed. Some edible and many are not. The varieties that are commonly known as pigweed are one of the most common weeds impacting soy and cotton crops. At least one species of amaranth has evolved to be "roundup resistant."
I opted to use some of the amaranth with salad greens. Amaranth has a nice earthy flavor that I wanted to pair with a vinaigrette and something for balance. Blueberries fit for summer, but the dish would work well with the figs that are in season now.
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.
This post is participating in Weekend Herb Blogging, which was started by Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen.