Originally I wanted to cook up a mushroom called Morel, but as often happens, the few weeks that I was looking for them in the forests around Bratislava and Nove Zamky, my mushroom gathering capabilities and luck, I just had a nice walk around. Sh*tty mushrooms, as I say. I gave up. It was a challenge, then I remembered my friend who I laughed at me every time we went for a” mushroom hunt”, he always said that I’m so blind that I will not find a mushroom, even when I step on it.
Well, what now, I complained on Saturday to my mother that I hiked & walked kilometers of the woods near Danube and nothing. While mushroom pickers reported first ones in early March. Then she told me that in the spring instead of mushrooms my great-grandmother prepared steamed radish. In this period we had small ground greenhouses in the garden where we grew red radishes and spring onions very early in the spring. And those are the spring flavors that I’ve associated my childhood, white bread with butter, prolonging days and football in the yard outside the house, a lot of kilometers on the bike and every evening me begging my mum using that famous sentence: „Please, Mom, 15 more minutes and I go home.”
We continued and talked until we got to the amaranth. In the early nineties it had its rebirth. It was a very small one because in these years amaranth was planted only as an ornamental plant. We had it planted in elementary school. I will not forget the fiery red berries, as well as the huge magnolia that grew along the walls of the gym. Amaranth has an interesting history and a voyage to the European continent, where he got after the Spanish colonization of Americas. Amaranth was one of the main Aztec crops, so was doomed due to the pagan origins. Inquisitors called it „diabolical fruit“ and the cultivation of amaranth was worth a life in Europe. Church banned it and for a violation they did not hesitate to burn the „infidel“. Therefore, until the 20th century it was forgotten. In the countryside, small farmers and herbalists had a small cultivation. Farmers added to the rabbit feed and thanks to his power they did not need any animal medication. When cooked it has a flavor of young peas, roasted nutty taste. I associated it with steamed radishes, spring onions, cottage cheese and parsley foam.
Steamed radishes with amaranth, cottage cheese and parsley foam
Ground black pepper
Soy lecithin (non GMO)
Oil (olive, grape, sunflower)
Cottage cheese (I recommend farm cheese with „natural protein“)
Rinse Amaranth and boil for about 30 minutes in 2: 1 (water: amaranth). I like to add 1 dcl of milk; it softens a little the taste of amaranth. Like butter can soften meat sauce. At the end season with salt.
Roast finely chopped onions in oil until tender and add chopped radishes, chopped to thin rounds. Roast about a minute and during add black pepper, ground cumin, salt, a pinch of sugar and drops of lemon juice. Pour a little water or vegetable broth and simmer to soften radishes be aware that it will take few minutes.
To a container with high walls add large handful of chopped parsley, a teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Pour in 150 ml of water and the same amount of milk; add a full teaspoon soy lecithin. Mix with a blender from top to bottom and collect formed foam with a spoon. On a plate, add cottage cheese, prepared radish foam, spring onions, watercress, chives. You can add roasted poppy seeds. Tune it as you like, as your taste buds whisper, creativity has certainly no limits.