This amaranth “polenta” recipe comes from our chef & founder Marco Canora’s book, A Good Food Day and it was featured in the Wall Street Journal. If you’ve never tried this nutritionally dense pseudograin, it can take the place of its close cousin, quinoa, in many recipes. It has a milder and sweeter flavor – similar to sweetcorn, making it the perfect substitute for corn in polenta! Like quinoa it can be cooked al dente and into baked goods but unlike quinoa, it’s delicious when cooked to a porridge-like consistency.
The term “pseudograin” refers to any plant seed that has grain-like qualities, but falls outside of the grass (Poaceae) family. These include quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. They all have an impressive nutritional profile yet are low in starch and contain no gluten.
Marco advises to freeze the kale before making this recipe, as you want the leaves to shatter into lots of small pieces. Any type of kale will do in this recipe but we enjoy Tuscan (dino) kale in this recipe best.
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale (aka lacinato or dinosaur kale), frozen
- 6 cups Brodo – we prefer Organic Chicken or Signature Hearth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups amaranth
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt (optional)
- Working over a bowl, crumble the frozen kale leaves with your hands until you have about 1.5 cups of fine crumbles. Discard the stems and thick center ribs.
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups Brodo to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and pour the amaranth into the Brodo in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Stir in the kale and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a puddinglike consistency, about 30 minutes. The amaranth beads should be tender but retain enough shape to offer a little pop.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, olive oil, and a good dose of black pepper. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings if needed.
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