Amaranth pilaf is a nice change of pace from ordinary pilafs that use white or brown rice. Amaranth is an ancient whole grain that has a nutty taste and a chewy texture that should be used more than it is. The grain is round and tiny, similar to couscous. Use it as a side dish for grilled steaks, roasted chicken, or pork chops.
You can use other herbs in place of the thyme if you'd like in this easy recipe. Some dried basil, marjoram, or oregano would be delicious. For an added burst of flavor, stir in some chopped fresh herbs or parsley just before serving.
You can also make this recipe with beef broth or vegetable broth. For a heartier dish, stir in some grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese when the amaranth is tender. The cheese will melt when the dish stands to steam. Stir gently and serve.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water or chicken broth and water, amaranth, salt, and thyme.
Bring this mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the amaranth is tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes to steam. Stir in the butter and pepper, and fresh herbs, if using, and serve.