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amaranth cakes with slow-caramelised courgettes

July 26, 2013

Serves 2-3
Prep time: one hour

Amaranth cakes main pic
Here begin my adventures in the land of Gluten Free.  And do you know, they’re not off to a bad start.

Amaranth can be a confusing grain to work with as it behaves slightly differently from its more familiar cousin, quinoa.  I must admit, it took me a while to get round to trying it as I never heard very good things about it.  ‘Texture like caviar’… oh dear.  ‘Defies all attempts to construct a pilaf’… hmm.

However, it is highly recommended for the gluten free diet and for vegans, thanks to its rather formidable amino acid profile.  And even though it makes the gloopiest porridge imaginable (which may be appetising to some people – not me though) it also crisps up beautifully with a bit of oil and heat applied either in a frying pan or in the oven.

These amaranth cakes turned out so deliciously crunchy that it’s got me thinking about future experiments, such as whether amaranth would make a passable gluten-free crumb crust instead of panko.  I will report back shortly.

In the meantime, I would recommend eating these with a nice soft vegetable concoction as a contrast to the crunch.  I slow-fried courgettes in the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall manner until they caramelised and went all nice and, you know, appetising like.

So there we are.  Week one of gluten-free eating.  So far, so pretty bloody good.

 

Amaranth cakes with slow-caramelised courgettes

Ingredients

Amaranth, 1 cup
Vegetable stock, 2 cups
Four spring onions, finely sliced
Gram flour, 2 tbsps
Basil, one large handful, roughly chopped
Nutritional yeast, 4 tbsp
Zest of one lemon
Wholegrain mustard, 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling

For the courgettes:
Three courgettes / zucchini, finely sliced
Garlic, two cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, 1 tbsp

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cook the amaranth in the stock, according to packet instructions.  In my experience, the rice method seems to work well: simmer slowly in twice the volume of water or stock, with the lid on, until the water is absorbed and the amaranth has turned into a sticky porridge.  This will take around 25 minutes.

Make the courgettes: heat the oil in a pan and tip in the courgettes and garlic.  Lightly season with salt.  Fry slowly over a gentle heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.  As the courgettes soften, break them up with a wooden spoon, until you have an unctuous caramelised mess.

When the amaranth is done, let cool until you can handle it without burning your fingers.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Lightly oil a baking sheet and, with wetted hands, form the amaranth mixture into six patty shapes.

Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with more olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake for a further ten minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.

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2 Comments
  1. Amaranth is a wonder thing, like quinoa but smaller, I have to say I love the stuff. This recipe will be tried very soon, when we start cooking again! Thanks for sharing. Diolch!

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