Amaranth Polenta with Leeks and Greens & Good & Evil

Dec 13, 2011

I’m the kind of nice person who might make you roll your eyes.  I escort old ladies across the street.  I’ve taught my kids to bring errant trashcans tossed on their sides back to driveways for people we don’t know.  When the preschool sent out a plea for a family in need, I made them dinner and dropped it off even though I’ve never met them.  I believe not only in donating money, but my time.

Yesterday, as I ran errands in our little village, I noticed an older man pull his car over by the pizza place.  The meter maid – AKA pigeon with a vengeance – dashed right over to yell at him.  Not speak, not reprimand.  Yell. “You can’t park here!” “But I’m just mailing this letter,” he said, his frail hand waved a stamped envelope.  “I don’t care!  I already told another guy to leave!” “But the mail box is right there!”

Cue Nice Girl.  I trotted across the street, offered to mail the man’s letter so he could leave, making both of them happy. I didn’t even require a thank you.

With all this kindness flowing from me, you might find it rather sad, then, that I cackle and shake with laughter at children.  Not all children and not children specifically, but children as they play out-of-tune band pieces.

I am a bad person.  I know this.  However, I become a fifth grader all over again when I’m in the gym/auditorium and hear something like this.  Eventually, I can control myself, face bright as a radish, but I laugh even thinking about it.  And yes, I do have a kid in the band.  I celebrate these kids who get up on stage and practice drums or oboe or clarinet (the horns are the funniest).  I do a good job of covering my laughter, but I can’t stop myself from finding the cacophony laugh aloud funny.

So, like that classic theme song sang, “You take the good, you take the bad and there you have the Facts of Life.”

Band kids, I am sorry. Old guy with the letter, you’re welcome.



Aramanth Polenta with Leeks and Greens

1 cup amaranth

1 1/2 cups boiling vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

clove crushed garlic

3 leeks, washed, trimmed, sliced

2-3 cups greens (chicory, beet greens, baby spinach, chard)

pinch salt

1/3 cup any cubed/shredded cheeses cheddar/parmesan/fontina/pecorino (optional, though yummy)

Pour the amaranth into the boiling stock. Cover and reduce to low, cooking for 15-20 minutes until liquid is almost absorbed. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a skillet and add crushed garlic. Add leeks and saute for 2-3 minutes. Heap the greens on top of the garlic and leeks and turn to coat with oil. Cook greens only until just cooked - about 2 minutes. Add salt and cheese and mix. Remove from heat. Add leek and greens mixture to amaranth and stir well. Serve hot. If you have leftovers, add a egg and make into pancakes, frying up in coconut or olive oil.

1 comment

  1. Celia
    December 13, 2011

    We’re growing amaranth greens, but I’ve never seen the grain for sale! Will have to look out for it, thanks for the recipe.

    My son, who was first horn in the school orchestra (and second horn in the university one!) sent me this clip recently. We had a good giggle, and I suspect you will too. 🙂