amaranth plant

Sometimes even veteran eaters of Amaranth are surprised to see what the plant actually looks like. Yes, you probably recognize this “ornamental.” But did you know it can also be an important food source?


What do you want to look for in scallops?  Sustainable, of course.  And no sodium triphosphates (STP) added.  STP makes seafood soak up extra water (increasing the weight of the seafood up to 25%).  Why pay for all that extra water at seafood prices?  Why eat yet another chemical Mother Nature didn’t put there in the first place?  Yes, my cooked scallops do weep a bit, but I don’t care.  The flavor is clean and sweet, the texture beyond compare.

Amaranth is a tiny, powerhouse grain revered by the pre Columbian Aztecs and people in India.  I don’t know how it got to all corners of the world, but it’s easily digested and makes a nice, comfy bed for saucy dishes like this.  Did you know that amaranth has three times the calcium of milk?

Serves 2                                                              

1 C amaranth 2 Tbsp dried oregano
¼ C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or ghee 2 tsp dried thyme
2 C minced onion 1 C minced fresh parsley
4 Tbsp minced garlic 1 tsp black pepper or grains of paradise
½ C lemon juice 1 lb Port Clyde sea scallops
2 C chopped tomato (fresh or canned) sea salt to taste

Bring 2½ C water to a boil.  Add amaranth and lower heat, cover pot and simmer about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and amaranth cooked.  Set pot aside.

In a large skillet, gently warm EVOO or ghee.  Sauté onion a couple of minutes, until it begins to soften and turn golden.  Add garlic and stir another minute.  Add lemon, tomato, oregano, thyme, parsley and black pepper or grains of paradise.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add scallops.  Cover and simmer two minutes, just until they are heated through.  Taste, add salt if you like.

Spoon amaranth onto places.  Divide scallops and sauce among plates and serve garnished with more oregano, thyme or parsley if you want.  Serve with steamed spinach or broccoli.  Yummy, yumm.