7 Black Currants Recipes: From Salad, Couscous to Stuffed Goose 2022

Black currants are antioxidant-rich berries, dark purple in color–almost black–with a glossy skin and containing several seeds dense in nutrients. It is native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia. It’s got several versatile uses; for instance, in Russia, it is used to improve the taste and color of vodka. In the United Kingdom, it’s used to make flavored cider. 

Black currants contain important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Historically, they’ve played important roles in providing nutrition, like during World War II in the United Kingdom, where they were commonly sold and consumed because other foods rich in Vitamin C (such as oranges) were nearly impossible to find. Black currants also contain several rare nutrients that may be used in therapies against depression.  

Black currant leaves are often used for their diuretic properties. A tea made from dried blackcurrant leaves can be used against arthritis, urinary problems, unhealthy gums, and coughs. Syrup made from blackcurrant juice is often used to treat sore throats. The anthocyanidins in the blackcurrant berries are responsible for their antioxidant and antibacterial action. 

Black currants provide a unique flavor, so look out for them if you need a change in your diet. When shopping for these fruits, select those that are dry, firm, and well-shaped. Avoid containers of berries with juice stains. This may be a sign that the berries are crushed, and possibly moldy.

Source: black-currant.com, www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, www.phytochemicals.info, www.wikipedia.org

Image by CurrantC (Flickr) available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

Apple Cider & Wild Rice Pilaf Treasure

2/3 cup wild rice
2 cups apple cider, fresh
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup pecans, chopped or 1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup golden raisin
1/8 cup currant
1/8 cup dried cranberries, halved
2 tablespoons candied ginger
1 large shallot, french, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 apple, ida red, peeled, cored & chopped

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

1. Wash rice three times, drain well.
2. Combine rice, cider and water in pan. Bring rice mixture to boil, reduce heat to low and cover and simmer 45 – 60 minutes.
3. In a large frying pan, melt butter on low, add pecans, raisins, currants, and cranberries, ginger and shallots, stirring for 5 minutes.
4. Next add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh apple and wild rice. Cook on low for 2 minutes until heated, serve warm — enjoy.

Servings: 4

Wheatberries with Fragrant Spices, Currants & Almonds

1/2 cup wheatberries, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 scallions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, more to taste
1/2 cup basmati rice or 1/2 cup other long-grain rice
1/3 cup dried currant (don’t be tempted to leave these out!)
3/4 cup chicken or 3/4 cup vegetable stock (low or no-salt please)
1 1/2 ounces slivered almonds, toasted (1/3 c.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon, zest of
fresh ground black pepper

Prep Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 5 hrs 30 mins

1. Drain the wheatberries.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the wheatberries and 3 cups of salted water to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, but pleasantly chewy, about 25-50 minutes.
4. Drain well.
5. Meanwhile, heat the oil or butter in a saute pan over medium low heat.
6. Add the onion and scallions.
7. Cook until translucent, about 7 minutes.
8. Stir in the spices and rice and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the spices become very fragrant.
9. Add the currants, the broth and salt to taste.
10. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (15 minutes).
11. In a bowl, combine the wheatberries, rice mixture and almonds.
12. Stir in the parsley and lemon zest, and adjust the salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste.

Yield: 4 cups

Wild Rice Salad

1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced scallion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup pistachio nut
1/4 cup diced dried apricot
1/4 cup raisins or 1/4 cup currant
1/4 cup cranberries or 1/4 cup cherry
1 tablespoon toasted salted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins

1. Combine rice, water and salt together in a large pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
2. Drain rice and chill.
3. Combine the chilled rice with the vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
4. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, mustard and honey.
5. Starting with 1/3 cup of the dressing add to the rice mixture and blend.
6. Taste and adjust with more or less to suit your personal tastes.

Servings: 8-10

Seven-Vegetable Couscous

3 1/2 cups water (or stock of your choosing-I like vegetable)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/4 cup black currants (or dark raisins)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced fine
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced small (use packaged frozen if desired)
1 eggplant, diced small
1 yellow squash, diced small
1 medium green zucchini, diced small
2 cups diced tomatoes (or use grape tomatoes)
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
4 cardamom pods, whole
salt and pepper, to taste

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

1. Couscous:.
2. Place the water or stock on the stove, bring to a boil, and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
3. In a large bowl, add the couscous and currants(or raisins), pour the boiling water over the top of the couscous, and stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
4. Vegetables:.
5. Place a large sauté pan on the stove and heat over medium. When the pan is warm, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the garlic until golden. Add the carrots and butternut squash, toss to coat with oil, and cook until golden brown. Add the eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini and cook until tender.
6. Toss in the remaining ingredients up to and including the cardamom pods. Stir to coat evenly with the spices and cook for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and aromatic. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over the couscous on a large platter.

Servings: 8-10

Barley Cabbage Wraps With Pine Nuts and Currants (Slow Cooker)

1 large head of cabbage, cored
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
3 cups cooked pearl barley
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or meatless crumbles)
1/2 cup dried currant (or raisins-golden are good)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

1. Steam cabbage head 8 minutes, cool slightly. Remove 16 leaves from cabbage. Use remaining cabbage for another use. Cut off raised portion of the center vein of each cabbage leaf(don’t cut out vein). Set trimmed cabbage leaves aside.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, stir in barley and next 4 ingredients(thorough parsley). Stir in 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoons pepper.
3. Place cabbage leaves on a flat work surface, spoon about 1/3 cup barley mixture into center of each cabbag4e leaf. Fold in edges of leaves over barley mixture; roll up. Arrange cabbage wraps in bottom of a 5 quart electric slow cooker.
4. Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoons salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoons pepper, apple juice, vinegar, and tomatoes; pour evenly over cabbage wraps. Cover and cook on High 2 hours or until thoroughly heated.
5. Makes 4 servings.

Servings: 4

Almond Currant Rice

2 cups uncooked instant rice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup dried currants

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Prepare rice according to package directions, adding butter and salt. Just before serving, stir in almonds and currants.

Servings: 4

Roast Goose with Stuffing

10 French bread, cut into cubes
1 cup dried currants
4 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (10 pound) goose
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh marjoram
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 5 hrs 10 mins
Total Time: 5 hrs 40 mins

1. In a large bowl, combine bread, currants, apples, crumbled thyme, salt, pepper, and melted butter or margarine.
2. Wash goose inside and out. Pat dry. Stuff, truss, and tie goose. Prick bird all over with fork.
3. Heat oil in roasting pan on top of stove. Brown goose lightly on all sides, then drain off pan drippings. Set goose breast side up in roasting pan. Add a little water, cover, and roast at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for one hour. Discard fat from roasting pan.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, fresh thyme and marjoram, and sprinkle around the goose. Continue roasting uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes per pound, draining off fat at intervals. Add more water as required. Transfer cooked goose to platter, and keep warm by covering loosely with foil.
5. Skim off remaining fat in pan, and heat drippings and vegetables on top of stove until mixture is reduced. Stir in white wine, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain gravy. If necessary, add a little cornstarch mixed with water to thicken gravy.

Servings: 6

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