Amaranth with Roasted Fruits and Vegetables
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Amaranth is a seed whose time has come—again. Kosher for Passover? Maybe (I wrote an article about that; see the link below). But is this ancient Mesoamerican food staple ready to be served and enjoyed at today’s tables? Yes indeed. This dish sits happily with marinated tofu by its side as a vegan supper. It’s also is great paired with quick-cooked meats like grilled chicken, or steak, as well as long-braised dishes like ropa vieja.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 medium purple or yellow sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
2 large fresh sweet black-skinned plantains, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup) or frozen and defrosted and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
½ cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons agave nectar, divided
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
1½ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion, peeled, halved, and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
16 ounces (2 cups) Roasted Vegetable Stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
8 ounces (1 cup) dry white wine
1 cup amaranth
Leaves of 1 large or 2 small bunches fresh cilantro, cut in chiffonade (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, plantains (only if using fresh), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir gently to coat. Transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets and spread out evenly in a single layer. Reserve the bowl.
- Add the pineapple, the frozen plantains (if you are using them), 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper to the bowl and mix gently to coat. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly in a single layer. Place both sheets in the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pineapple has dark caramelized edges and the plantains (frozen or fresh) are completely softened.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large, deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly browned.
- Place the amaranth in a fine-mesh sieve and run under cold water for 1 minute. Gently shake to drain any liquid.
- Add the amaranth to the pan with the onions, still over medium heat, stir to coat and cook for about 2 minutes, until the amaranth is lightly toasted.
- Pour the white wine into the amaranth mixture, stirring to incorporate. When it is absorbed into the amaranth, add the stock, mix well, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the grains have swelled and softened.
- Transfer the cooked potatoes and pineapple into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked amaranth and onions and mix to blend well, working carefully to keep the potatoes intact. Add about half the cilantro and mix gently. Scoop the amaranth mixture onto a serving platter, and scatter the remaining cilantro around the edge and on top, and serve immediately.
- Click here to read my article about amaranth.