Amaranth Polenta with Wild Mushrooms
Amaranth cooked with dried mushrooms develops a deep, earthy flavor. Serve puddles of this soft polenta with roasted fowl or braised game.
1/2 ounce (1/2 cup loosely packed) dried porcini or other dried mushrooms
1 Tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup amaranth
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1. Bring water to a boil in a kettle, and pour 1 3/4 cups boiling water into a large heatproof glass measuring cup. Stir in the dried mushrooms. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes. Chop any large pieces.
2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the amaranth. Add the soaked mushrooms and the soaking liquid, taking care to leave any grit on the bottom of the cup. Bring to a boil. Reduce the head, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and thyme.
3. Continue simmering, covered, until the mixture is porridgy and the amaranth is tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. (Tender amaranth should still be crunchy, but shouldn’t taste hard or gritty.) Stir in a bit more boiling water if the mixture becomes too thick before the amaranth is done.
4. Serve in small bowls with a sprinkle of thyme on top.
Recipe courtesy of Lorna Sass, from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way.
Nutritional Analysis: Calories: 280, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 160mg, Carbohydrate: 42g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 12g
makes: 3 to 4 servings