Recipe: Amaranth Salad w/ Blackberry Serrano Vinaigrette

I have some beautiful amaranth growing in my garden this summer. It sowed itself from last year’s crop so it is coming up in the area where I am growing winter squash and tomatillos.  I thought the amaranth leaves would make a nice salad!

Amaranth growing in my garden

Amaranth growing in my garden

Amaranth Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • Several large handfuls of amaranth leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces (choose the smaller leaves)
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of blackberries, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup spiced pecans (recipe follows)
  • Jicama, cut in thin strips
  • Fresh herbs, snipped (I used chives and pipicha…use what you have or omit)

Optional Garnish: Edible flowers, including amaranth flowering seed heads, nasturtiums, calendula, or borage.

Toss salad ingredients with vinaigrette. Garnish with edible flowers.

Amaranth, Pecans, Avocado, Blackberries, Herbs, Flowers
Amaranth, Pecans, Avocado, Blackberries, Jicama, Herbs, Flowers

Blackberry-Serrano Vinaigrette

  • 5 blackberries
  • ½-1 serrano chile, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon wild local honey

Put peppercorns in molcajete and grind into a power. Add blackberries, minced chiles, and salt, and continue grinding until a paste forms. Add honey and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and blackberry mixture. Slowly drizzle in oil while continuing to whisk. Run dressing through a sieve to remove seeds and any big pieces of chile.

Vinaigrette ingredients: avocado oil, blackberries, salt, serano chile, pink peppercorns, honey, pineapple vinegar
Vinaigrette ingredients: avocado oil, blackberries, salt, serrano chile, pink peppercorns, honey, pineapple vinegar

Spiced pecans

  • ¾ cup raw pecans
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon raw local honey

In a molcajete, grind together the allspice, salt, and peppercorns. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast pecans for about 3-5 minutes, tossing the nuts in the skillet to make sure pecans toast evenly. Add allspice mixture to the skillet and toss to coat. Drizzle honey over mixture and continue tossing the mixture until the honey melts and covers pecans completely. Pecans should be warm, toasty, and a bit sticky. Remove from heat and separate pecans on a plate and allow to cool.

Dinner!

Dinner!

I know this recipe has a lot of ingredients. Here are some SUBSTITUTIONS: Instead of avocado oil, you can use olive oil. Instead of pineapple vinegar, use apple cider vinegar. Instead of pink peppercorns, use black pepper. Instead of allspice, use cinnamon. Instead of a serrano chile, use a jalapeño. Be inventive!