This is where it gets confusing. I had posted a photo of cardoon and called it callaloo. A reader called callaloo amaranth. And it is, but the photo was not what it was.
is amaranth aka cardoon in the Caribbean, but is also used in African, Sri Lankan, and Indian cooking. You can find it in Chinese markets as well (I wonder if, by yet another name, I saw it in the supermarket in Chinatown) and since I have primarily Chinese spices in the pantry, that was my go-to preparation.
Onions and garlic cooked in coconut oil (which has finally re-solidified after a summer of pure liquid!). Threw in cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper flakes to heat in the oil for a bit. Then, the washed leaves, chopped. I don't often chop greens before I cook them because they cook down so much anyway but I read that amaranth leaves are a bit tough once the plant has blossomed. I believe it is a little late in the season for amaranth, so it had, as you can see:
The leaves weren't really tough when cooked, but they are definitely hardier than spinach. I'd say the texture and flavor is more like kale - more bitter than spinach but not as oxidized-tasting as beet greens. (Does that make sense? I like beet greens but I can taste the iron sometimes.)
Despite the name deriving from the Greek for "unfading flower," it was starting to wilt a bit already by today. So, although you can eat it raw, I cooked it so it would last longer.
Served, as I unimaginatively do with all Asian-y meals, with rice, soy sauce, and scallions:
Anyway, I really liked amaranth leaves (I keep wanting to call them greens but can't because they're purple! There are amaranth plants that produce green leaves, though, so maybe I'll call 'em greens anyway.) Spinach is my go-to green for salads but I don't like to cook with it because it turns into nothing! This was a large-ish bunch but I still had to cook it in two batches.
Next to tackle: cardoon!