Amaranth greens abound in the summer in Arizona. They are not weed! They are an amazing plant that seems weed like in it’s growth and produces beautiful green leaves in the heat
of the summer. This recipe was born from a need to figure out
what to do with the abundance of amaranth greens in a weekly CSA share from Cooked Sky Farms through Tucson CSA. Pesto can really be made with any green and any nut or seed, so raid your pantry and work with what you already have!
For the pesto:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or other nut or seed)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 bunch (1 lb. usually) amaranth Greens
1/2 lb. arugula or basil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
For the Gratin:
4 medium red potatoes (or any potato really, about 2 lbs.)
2 cloves of garlic
2-4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 cup pesto (either amaranth pesto or other)
1/2 cup shaved or shredded parmesan cheese
First make the pesto. Place olive oil, garlic, sunflower seeds and cheese in food processor. Process until blended. Begin to add the washed and stemmed greens in batches until they are all incorporated. You may want to add more oil, if you like a runnier pesto. I like to leave it thick and then add oil when I use it, or add oil to the top when stored in a container. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. These ingredients and measurements really just serve as a guide, make your pesto the way you like it! Experiment with the quantities and taste test as you go. You will have more then 1 cup at this point, so store the rest in a container in the fridge or you can freeze it and use it later as well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice potatoes as thinly as you can, may 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick. Place sliced potatoes in a bowl, drizzle 1 or 2 tbsp. of oil onto the potatoes. Add diced garlic and pesto to the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands, making sure to coat all potato slices. In an 8×8 glass baking dish, drizzle remaining 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil. Spread slices evenly in the dish. Top with parmesan cheese, cover with tin foil and place in oven for 25 minutes. Remove tin foil and return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 4-6 servings.