Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Use Your Booty: Amaranth x2

One thing that's been so great about this CSA is that I'm getting to cook with some ingredients that are new to me. A part of my pickup has been amaranth greens. I've sautéed them and made soup from them. This week I thought it would fun to pair sautéed amaranth greens with steamed amaranth grains. Here they are together in their uncooked state.

Cooking amaranth, the grain, is easy. Rinse the grain by swishing it in a bowl of water and then straining in a very fine strainer (I actually had to line mine with cheesecloth, because the holes on my strainer are so tiny). Then you bring the grain, water and a pinch of salt to simmer, cover and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the amaranth steam in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.

I used a 1 to 1.5 ratio of grain to water to cook my amaranth. (One cup grain to 1 1/2 cups water.) I ended up with a pot full of something that reminded me of polenta, but with the grains clearly defined and still pleasantly crunchy (just a little bit). If you've made amaranth grain before I'd love to hear how you cook it. Locally, you can find amaranth grain at The Natural Grocer on High Street in Newburyport. I've also seen it in Whole Foods Markets and other health food stores.

This Summer, I am chronicling my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience. My CSA share is from Arrowhead Farm, a farm based in Newburyport, MA. Each week, I am posting about what was in my share and what I'm doing with it. By way of full disclosure, I won my share through a raffle and am not paying for it. However, Arrowhead did not know I was entered in the raffle, and I received no special consideration because of this blog. I paid for my livestock share. A full set of all the photos I've taken of this share is here.

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