Tender Lettuces with Pickled Currants


You can serve the pickled currants in their liquid as a relish alongside sliced meats, such as ham and roast chicken.


For the pickled currants:

  • 2 cups currants (red, white, or a combination of both; about 1 pint total), stemmed if desired

  • 1 cup champagne vinegar

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

  • 1 piece (¾ inch) peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced

  • 3 strips (about 1 inch long each) fresh orange zest

For the dressing:

  • ½ shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons reserved pickling liquid

  • Coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 6 cups mache (about 4 ounces)

  • 2 cups mixed baby lettuces, such as mesclun (about 2 ounces)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 ounces duck pate or mousse

  • 8 thin slices baguette


  1. Make the pickled currants: Put currants into a nonreactive bowl; set aside. Stir 1 1/2 cups water, the vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, ginger, and zest in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve over currants in bowl. Stir gently to submerge currants. Let stand at least 30 minutes.

  2. Make the dressing: Stir shallot, pickling liquid, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, and let stand 20 minutes. Stir in mustard. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Set aside.

  3. Make the salad: Add greens to bowl with dressing, and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among 4 serving plates, and scatter about 2 tablespoons pickled currants on each plate. Spread pate on each slice of bread; serve 2 slices with each salad.

Cook's Notes

Pickled currants will keep refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks

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