1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup uncooked whole-grain amaranth
2 cups diced unpeeled English cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup drained no-salt-added canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon wedges (optional)
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups cold water and amaranth to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until water is almost absorbed (it will have the appearance of mush).
2. While amaranth cooks, combine cucumber and next 11 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Place amaranth in a sieve, and rinse under cold running water until room temperature; drain well, pressing with the back of a spoon. Add to cucumber mixture; toss to blend. Add cheese; toss gently. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
Note: It's important that the amaranth is placed in a fine mesh sieve. The grain is so tiny that it will slip through a traditional strainer. If one is not available, place the cooked amaranth on a large baking sheet, and spread it in a thin layer so it will cool without clumping together