Last spring, at a garden where I was helping out, there was such an abundance of red currants that I began to tire of eating them in my oatmeal every day.
Then it struck me: red currants are so tart that they can easily be swapped for tomatoes. Especially in salads, or dishes like tabbouleh where pomegranate seeds sometimes make an appearance. And voilá: this dish came together as a way to not only make use of all those red currants but also of the dandelion and plantain greens that are still young and tender at this time of year. (Note: If you are new to "eating the weeds" you might want to try just a few leaves in a dish like this to start off, especially the dandelion greens as they are somewhat bitter. Plantain leaves have a more neutral flavour.)
Here is the recipe:
200 g/1 cup of fresh red currants
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
1 small bunch each of fresh dandelion and plantain leaves, chopped (optional)
200-400 g/1-2 cups of cooked grains such as bulgur wheat or quinoa (gluten-free option)
juice of 1 lemon
20 mL/1 T olive oil
salt and/or pepper to taste
Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice into the grains until they are well-coated. Add in the greens and cucumber next, mixing thoroughly. Add the red currants in last, folding them in gently to prevent too many from bursting. You might like to add a few on top, taking the place of the tomatoes in the photo above, as a garnish.
This dish pairs well with other mezze-type snacks like olives, roasted red peppers and hummus.