Quinoa and amaranth, both native to the Americas, are sold packaged or in bulk in natural-food stores or well-stocked supermarkets. If amaranth is unavailable, use a total of 2/3 cup quinoa.
1 dried New Mexico or California chili (about 6 in.)
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 onion (1/2 lb.), finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 cup amaranth
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 cup fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 large butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped
How to Make It
Wipe chili with a damp cloth. Using scissors, cut off and discard chili stem end; remove and discard seeds. Cut chili crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat, stir chili in oil until it smells toasted and feels slightly crisp (avoid scorching), 1 to 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chili pieces to towels to drain (they crisp as they cool).
Add onion and garlic to pan. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add amaranth and quinoa. Stir until grains are slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Mix in corn and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature. Or nest pan in ice water and stir occasionally with a fork until cool, about 10 minutes.
Mix lime juice and cilantro with grains. Spoon onto plates lined with lettuce leaves. Top salads with the crisp chili pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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