When it comes to January meals, I’m about as veg-forward as I can be. More hearty vegan meals, bright in color and full of flavor. This polenta is made with the help of amaranth, instead of traditional polenta. It’s not quite the same but delicious nonetheless.
It’s no secret that I love mixing up grains into traditional dishes. This amaranth polenta was sparked from my love of using millet in place of the traditional polenta. These pseudograins thicken up when cracked and make for a wonderful polenta/porridge like consistency.
When it comes to amaranth, don’t skip the toasting. I find amaranth to be a bit heavy on the grassy flavor but it lessens a bit with toasting.
In terms of components I use, this carrot puree is gold. This is one of the best uses but I love using the carrot puree as a base for beans, risotto, and pasta sauce. Depending on what I’m making, I’ll make the puree roasting the carrots or I’ll braise the carrots to make them tender (for times I don’t feel like turning on the oven).
Finally, when it comes to this polenta, it really comes together with the toppings. Making parsley oil is a great option when you have a bunch of parsley you’d like to use. The color is beautiful and the flavor adds a nice herby punch. If you don’t want to take the time, just top with a bit of chopped parsley.
Creamy polenta made with amaranth and a simple carrot puree.
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
4 medium carrots (about 1 pound)
2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons light miso
- Place amaranth in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until the amaranth is cracked (think texture of polenta). Heat a pot over medium heat and add the cracked amaranth. Toast lightly then add in water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened; about 20 minutes.
- To start, clean the carrots (and peel if you feel the need- I rarely do). Cut into 1/4” slices and place in a pan. Add enough broth to come halfway up the carrots. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the liquid and reserve. Place the carrots in a blender with the miso and puree until smooth, adding in enough of the reserved liquid until the puree is smooth.
- Add the carrot puree until amaranth and cook together until hot. Taste and add salt as needed. When serving, top with parsley oil, toasted walnuts, and black pepper.
- For the polenta, you could use broth but find using broth in both is really overwhelming.
- Swap out the parsley oil for just parsley and a drizzle of olive oil
Keywords: carrot polenta, amaranth polenta