slides: Amaranth: Make a Glorious Summer Garden Salad
Saturday, July 04, 2015
It is amaranth, an ancient plant native to South America and now cultivated in many parts of the world with many available varieties. Its high protein seeds provide excellent nutrition as do the young plant's leaves. The seeds are eaten cooked like a grain or even popped like popcorn!
See Slideshow Below: Making a Glorious Summer Garden Salad with Amaranth
The red-purple greens are highly nourishing and make a unique addition to salads and sautés. If you happen to be growing this abundantly reproductive plant, that grows like a weed (eat your weeds!) it is easy to pull out or snip for lunch; where it is pinched, it will branch out, providing more leaves and eventually more blossoms. I have seen the greens in farmers' markets, if you're curious and are not growing them yourself you may find them there. My seed packet came from Seeds of Change, and the variety in my garden looks like theirs named "elephant head".
Today's salad is a mixture of kale, young chard, and amaranth chiffonade sprinkled with scarlet runner bean flowers—for color and tasting just like the beans they would become, sautéed pine nuts and sesame seeds—for crunchy nutty flavor and more protein, and at the last minute an addition of a few sugar snap peas that have survived the heat—for a bit of sweetness.
A classic Lebanese salad dressing of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt perfectly tenderizes all of the greens while marinating in the refrigerator before serving. On this very warm, early July day, it is served for lunch or dinner with sheep milk feta cheese on sesame flax seed crackers! Light and refreshing! Enjoy!
Remember, as my mother Alice said, "If you make it with love, it will be delicious!"
© linda dalal sawaya 2015
Related Slideshow: Making a Glorious Summer Garden Salad with Amaranth
- Cooking with Chard and Mediterranean Greens from the Garden
- Arugula and Rapini: Italian Spring Greens for Fabulous Side Dishes