Orach: A Spring Delight


The first orders of the season went out yesterday (Battlefords) and today (Saskatoon) and they were beautiful, if we do say so ourselves! Asparagus, rhubarb, green onions, herb snippets (basil, summer savoury, and parsley), and orach.

For those of you who haven’t encountered orach before, it is one of the delights of spring. A relative of lamb’s quarters, it is the earliest green in the garden. We don’t even have to plant it; last year’s crop self-seeds and we just have to manage the patch. Some of what you received this week was stray plants that came up where we didn’t want them. The rest was thinnings from the desired patch, so that the remaining plants have more room to grow bigger. This week we sent you the seedlings roots and all. As the plants grow bigger, we will send only leaves.

So what does one do with orach? We use it much as we would spinach. The young seedlings we eat raw or lightly cooked (with eggs is scrumptious!). As the plants get bigger, the leaves taste best cooked. If you haven’t devoured yours yet, here is the recipe for the salad I served Stacey at today’s pick-up:

4 cups cooked beans
4 cups finely chopped orach
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or your favourite vinegar)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine and serve. Tastes even better the second day!

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