What others consider weeds and a garden nuisance is someone else’s culinary gold!
It’s of course also cultivated to supply the large Greek demand for the tasty, slightly bitter greens.
Amaranth is a close relative of spinach and beets so you know it’s packing lots of iron and this kind of stuff it’s good for your blood.
For those in North America, I’ve attached a photo of Amaranth as it looks like when you’re seeking it out at the market. The beautiful photo is provided by Alanna Kellogg of Kitchen Parade.
Amaranth Greens (Vlita/βλήτα)
1 bunch of Amaranth greens (about the size of a bouquet of roses)
2 cups water
extra virgin Greek olive oil
juice of half a lemon
- Fill your kitchen basin with water. Chop your greens and place in the water to soak and release it’s sand and dirt. Repeat the process until the water is no longer sandy or dirty (usually 2 or 3 times).
- Rinse your Amaranth and a large pot on your stovetop, add water and bring to a boil. Add enough salt where you can taste it and once the water returns to a boil, add the thicker stemmed pieces in first. Allow them to steam/simmer for 4 minutes. Now add the remaining (thin stemmed pieces and leafs) to the water steam/simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until just fork-tender.
- Empty your boiled vlita into a large colander and run cold water over it until cooled to warm and allow to drain.
- Lower to medium and simmer for approx. 15 minutes or until the stems are fork tender.
- Empty into a bowl and add some extra virgin olive oil, juice of half a lemon and toss to coat well. Adjust for seasoning with salt.
- Serve warm or cold with fish or seafood or with a dollop of Skordalia on top.
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