Did you know the leaves of amaranth make a nice salad green? Besides having a pleasant mellow taste with a hint of sweetness, this green superstar tops even the nutritional powerhouse kale. This is a green vegetable you don’t want to do without.
Long before the nutritional high protein seeds/grains become mature, you can easily harvest the fast growing colorful leaves for an amazing salad. While using amaranth leaves remains unique to parts of Asia, I predict it will soon throw kale, the vegetable king of the west, from its throne.
My mom used to make a salad using amaranth leaves and handmade spaghetti noodles during the summer. The two types of amaranth leaves that she was familiar with, were the green ones and the purple ones. Growing up in the countryside of China, her family often picked the purple ones that grew wild in the field. This explains why she always referred to the purple amaranth as wild amaranth. Westerners just consider this a weed.
Although amaranth leaves are not available in most American stores, it’s quite commonly seen at Asian grocery stores in the fresh vegetable section. You can even find the seeds there to plant in your garden. The purple amaranth we planted in our nearly full sun garden is doing very well. Not only are the leaves edible, they’re also very decorative.
We regularly snap off the small and tender leaves for salads. Combined with the salad bowl lettuce that we also grow in our garden, it has a refreshing look and taste that’s hard to resist. Don’t forget to pour on some balsamic vinaigrette dressing!
I wouldn’t hesitate to prepare this amaranth salad with grilled chicken and peaches to be enjoyed by my very important guest such as yourself. Because the amaranth leaf has a mild taste, it’s perfect for a salad recipe. If you’re tired of spinach, romaine lettuce, or kale for your salad, it’s time to pile on some purple amaranth leaves and brighten up your salad plate.
- 7 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon vodka
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 oz amaranth leaves
- 2 oz salad bowl lettuce or leaf lettuce
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette or more to taste
- Marinate chicken breast with salt, black pepper, and vodka in a mixing bowl for at least 45 minutes. Heat the grill to medium hot and generously spray the grate with cooking oil. Place the marinated chicken on the hot grate and cook each side for 4 minutes or until the juice of the meat comes out clean. Let it cool and then cut into ½” thick slices to serve.
- Spray the grill again and lay sliced peaches on the grate. Grill each side for 30 seconds over medium heat.
- Toss the amaranth leaves and salad bowl lettuce together. Place the sliced grilled chicken and peaches on top. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.