Orach with Balsamic Vinegar and Currants

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    as a side dish
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Intense, dark, orach’s bitterness is balanced by the sweet-tart addition of dried fruit and vinegar and rounded out with olive oil. Although spinach-like, orach’s edible stems, buds, and leaves offer more varied textures. For a vegetable meal, serve over large white beans, or couscous with cashews, or polenta slices. Or spoon alongside grilled chicken or lamb chops. Or serve as a salad course, topped with toasted walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants or coarse-chopped raisins
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 pound medium to large orach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt

    Method

    1. In small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, currants, garlic, and optional chilli flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Let stand while you prepare orach.
    2. Strip leaves, stems, and any attached florets and seeds from large orach stalks; discard stalks. Drop stripped leaves and other parts into a pot of boiling salted water; return to a boil over highest heat. Boil just until leaf-stems are tender—a minute or so. Drain well, tossing and pressing in a colander to remove water. Blot with towel.
    3. Set skillet over moderate heat and add oil. Add orach and toss a minute to coat. Add vinegar mixture and pepper (remove garlic), tossing briefly to mingle flavors. Season. Serve hot or at room temperature.