Grilled zucchini topped with simmered green amaranth

| September 30, 2015 | 12 Replies

When vegetables come from the purest garden, you feel ”safe” to eat them, without any thoughts of harmful pesticides around. To get the most out of organic zucchini and green amaranth I decided to keep the recipe simple. Grilled zucchini topped with simmered green amaranth.

Grilled zucchini topped with simmered green amaranthBefore getting deeply into the recipe, I wanted to explain some important points about how Greeks, the majority of Greek home cooks, treat boiled vegetables. Passed down from generation to generation, the Greeks had always had the tendency to overcook or over boil their vegetables. Overcooking has here the meaning of cooked through or cooked ”well” as they claim. This method is considered healthy here, first of all because the vegetables are not pan-fried and by cooking them ”well” they won’t cause any upset on their stomach! What does this mean? Their texture will be super soft, hence the stomach will digest food easier.

So steaming and grilling vegetables is not widely spread and is considered (no surprise), especially from the eldest, as underdone. Nowadays things haven’t changed much and people are not ready to kick their diet habits! On the contrary, vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Long cooking time is able to destroy 90% of their nutrients. The steaming, blanching and quick simmer method is actually one of the best ways to cook vegetables, which are less affected compared to boiling.

Yield: 2


  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise lemon juice or Greek red vinegar
  • 500g green amaranth, tender tops
  • 2 tablespoons Greek olive oil
  • lemon juice or Greek red vinegar


In a medium size pot, bring enough water to cover fully the green amaranth and bring to a boil.

Place the tender tops to the water; make sure they are all covered with water. Pull them down with a wooden ladle if necessary. DO NOT cover with the lid.

Then cook for 5 minutes, until slightly tender.

Remove the green amaranth; discard any excess water and set aside.

Option A Boiled zucchini:
In the same pot, add the zucchini and cook for 3-5 more minutes, depending on your taste, then cut in half lengthwise.

Option BGrilled zucchini:
In the meantime (while simmering the amaranth). Cut the zucchini half lengthwise. Heat a grill pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, cook the zucchini, until nicely marked on one side.

Lay the zucchini on your plates side-by-side. Place a portion of simmered amaranth on each zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice or Greek red vinegar.

About grilled zucchini topped with blanched green amaranth: This is incredibly easy to cook and perfect for vegans, vegetarian and people who need a light but healthy meal. You got 2 options on how to cook the zucchini if you are determined to spend a couple more minutes on the recipe, but the most certain thing is to achieve the ”mission” and enjoy your meal.

A. Blanche or boiled zucchini
Less effort is needed on this method, because you can add the zucchini simultaneously to the purple amaranth’s boiled water (cooked together in the same pot). The aftertaste will be lighter than the previous suggestion (grilled) and it will taste more like a salad rather than proper meal.

B. Grilled zucchini
Grilled zucchini gives so much texture and a good base to the recipe, as well as the grilled strips created after grilling creates the illusion of eating ”solid” pieces and less moist vegetables (positive side). One negative aspect could be about cooking time and utensils used. It will take you more cooking time and you will need 2 kitchen tools a. medium size pot, b. grill pan or use oven’s grill mode. If you don’t have the option of buying garden harvested vegetables, please pick the ones that look fresh.

I incorporated pure and natural ingredients that made digestion process faster and smoother.

Green Amaranth [Βλίτα = Vlita = green amaranth, officially called amaranthus blitum]: Packed with vitamin K, A, B6, C, folate and carbohydrates.

How to prepare green amaranth: First of all choose fresh and vivid green amaranth. Avoid buying the ones with wilted leaves. Those are picked a couple of days beforehand which means that they lack of tenderness and texture. It is wise to prepare them as soon as possible when you get home. There is no use to keep them refrigerated for days.

Separate the base thick stalks, which is hard to chew after cooking, from tender top stalks and leaves. Before you cook them, you will need to wash them thoroughly! Another option is to rinse them well, drain the water and repeat the process.The plant has dust and soil you that can’t be normally seen with the naked eye, even if it looks clean! So be sure to remove any sand off them.

4 Favorite elements:

  1. Salt free recipe
  2. Super easy to make
  3. Low budget recipe
  4. Totally healthy

Grilled zucchini topped with simmered green amaranth

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Category: Vegetables

Comments (12)

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  1. Veleta Vivi says:

    Είναι ένας τέλειος συνδιασμός.Πάρα πολύ καλό για χορτοφάγους αλλά και πάρα πολύ καλό συνοδευτικό για ψάρια ή κρέας ψητό.Δεν είχα ποτέ συνδιάσει τα χόρτα με το κολοκύθι ψητό.Το έκανα και ήταν πάρα πολύ γευστικό,τέλειο για αυτούς που κάνουν δίαιτα αλλά και γι αυτούς που κάνουν υγιεινή διατροφή.

  2. Maria Lg says:

    Αν θέλεις ένα ελαφρύ βραδυνό. Και φυσικά,με φέτα είναι τέλοια!!!

  3. Grilled θα τα προτιμούσα εγώ!!! Σκέφτομαι τον πατερουλη μου να τα καταβροχθιζει σαν μεζέ με τη ρακί του!!!! Αα θα σε ευχαριστούσε 1000 φορές Κρυσταλλία !!!!

    • Editor says:

      Ιδανικό και δοκιμασμένο ήδη. Πολύ διαφορετικός μεζές, πιστεύω ότι θα το ευχαριστηθεί.

  4. Now this is a unique and delicious recipe! Also healthy and flavorful, love it.

  5. Felesha Bell says:

    I’ve never tried working with Amaranth!! Looks so healthy and delicious!

  6. Well, I need to over boil my veggies–I have major digestive issues–LOL! Actually, I want the vitamins so I will try your methods!

  7. I love organic vegetables and in fact I have one super big growing now in my garden. I will pick it up and grill tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Just spent a week traveling around Crete and loved everything about my time there! Never seen green amaranth sold in the US, but I’m guessing these are the wild greens that were served in Cetean restaurants? I looved the taste of them and with grilled zucchini it would be perfect!

    • Editor says:

      Green amarath is so popular around Greece. Wild is usually handpicked even at the gardens or cultivated sold at the farmers market. Since the greens are seasonal, could be also found in the Cretan restaurants in ”salad” section. Don’t miss to taste it! It ‘s so good…

  9. We grill a lot of zucchini during the summer. This looks great and would be a super side to many meals.

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