No pig parts this month! In Feast Magazine’s March 2015 edition, I’m highlighting an ingredient which is both massively underused and phenomenally good for you: amaranth leaves. I celebrate them (because you should celebrate them) by throwing them into this Rainbow Noodle Bowl with Spicy Peanut Dressing.
So, amaranth…sound familiar? We all know the grain by now, and you see it everywhere, happily parked next to the quinoa and farro and all the other oh-so-trendy grains, but what about the plant they came from? It deserves a little love…frankly, it deserves a LOT of love. And i’m not quite sure why it’s not getting it: amaranth leaves are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals…total powerhouse greens. Their flavor is as smooth as spinach: mild, with a subtle earthiness, way more tame than kale or collards. Plus, they’re hearty and basically grow all year round. So what gives? Why no amaranth leaf love?
I’d like to change that: I’ve noticed (and I could be very wrong about this) that after my articles are published, things pop up in stores a little more than they used to. Prickly pears, for instance: I used to see a handful every now and again at my normal grocery, but since I talked about them? Big piles of them, almost all the time. I saw pomegranate molasses make an appearance, halloumi cheese became easier to find, and rambutan is around a lot more…just saying. I don’t know if that’s me making things up, but grocery stores, if you are listening:
- STOCK MORE AMARANTH LEAVES.
- Place them next to the spinach.
- Maybe do some signage talking about the similarities to spinach so people know what to do with it. Because it does act just like spinach, both in raw and cooked formats.
Just a suggestion, but they’re so pretty I feel like they’d sell themselves. And a big thanks to Global Foods Market, who keeps a steady supply of amaranth leaves all year long; I wouldn’t even know about them were it not for their produce section.
Read more about them in my article over at Feast, or grab a magazine if you’re local; I guarantee you’ll be into them, and I hope you like what I made with them. It’s a spicy cold noodle salad with a rainbow of vegetables and a little Asian flair, kinda perfect for lunches right now when it’s almost springtime but still cold enough to want something hearty.
So I’m reading through this month’s magazine as I type this, and I keep getting distracted by what’s inside; I’ll take you through some of the things that have caught my eye:
Matt Seiter highlights two classic cocktails – the Rickey and the Collins – and gives some on-point ways to give them a little seasonal panache. Bookmarked for (lots of) future use.
Dear Kansas City: The Sundry sounds like a place I’d like to spend most of my days at.
PORCHETTA-STYLE ROAST PORK RECIPE. I doubt I need to say more than that.
These Oatmeal Stout Cakes from Christy Augustin will get you through your St. Patrick’s Day festivities in style; somehow she incorporates dulce de leche in here and I now worship her. seriously.
Chefs on the Brink is a must-read for inspiration (I dare you to check out each of the chefs’ signature dishes and NOT feel all the ideas coming) and for just knowing where you should plan your next dinner. If nothing else, it reminds me I need to get out more.
And finally, this article about the evolution (and recent comeback) of the neighborhood butcher shop makes me realize i’ve never fully appreciated butchers or what they do. They’re artists, honestly, and they do something I could not. It’s an interesting look at the recent history of the butcher shop, our steps away from it in recent years, and how it’s coming back as we become more engaged in the process of cooking and eating. Beautifully (and quite moodily) photographed by Jonathan Gayman and Zach Bauman.
That’s what’s up for March! Go read the digital copy or grab one if you live in the area. And if you’re into being healthy, check out my article on amaranth leaves and then start lobbying your local grocers so they begin carrying them. Let’s make amaranth leaves more of a thing.