I'm usually quite aware of new health food trend and ingredients so it's been a longtime coming for me to finally get acquainted with amaranth. Amaranth is an ancient seed, similar to quinoa but nuttier and crunchier in texture. It is a very high source of protein which aids in digestion and helps develop healthy bones. It has a number of preparations which I am excited to explore more of in both savoury and sweet applications. But for my first time playing around with amaranth, I decided to keep it hearty with a rosemary garlic mushroom and amaranth polenta recipe.
This recipe was such a gamble. I had taken a risk by creating this recipe on my #SIAintheKithen live video on Instagram and I am so happy with how flavourful and tasty it turned out! I knew the mushrooms would be a big hit based on the ingredients alone but I was so unsure about how the polenta would turn out.
The cooking ratio for amaranth is 1:2. I was skeptical because even after 25 minutes of active cook time on the stove, there was still a bit of liquid leftover. Don't be concerned - once you add the cheese in, it thickens up quite nicely.
It is good to note that it is not nearly as creamy as a traditional polenta and I would recommend eating this straight away. The amaranth polenta makes for a nice bed for hearty proteins. I can imagine this being a great side dish to a steak or lamb loin. For this recipe, it paired perfectly the the rosemary garlic mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms are incredibly meaty and a great vegetarian option for a main.
AMARANTH POLENTA - makes 4 side servings
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups amaranth
- 1/2 cup grana padano, finely grated
- salt + pepper, to taste
ROASTED ROSEMARY GARLIC MUSHROOMS - makes 6 - 8 servings (adapted from Serious Eats)
- 1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lbs cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp red pepper chili flakes
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
- salt + pepper, to taste
- To make the amaranth polenta, bring the vegetable broth up to a boil in a small pot. Once that is boiling, add the amaranth and turn the heat down to low for it to simmer. Cover and let cook covered for about 25 - 30 minutes or until it is cooked. It is still quite nutty and crunchy when fully cooked.
- Gradually add the cheese in and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- While your amaranth polenta is cooking, preheat your oven to 400F and place your rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the dressing - add all the ingredients from garlic to the salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced mushrooms and dressing together until evenly coated. Place evenly onto your lined baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes.`