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Apr 23, 2005 07:56 PM

French(purple) spinach

  • m

I just purchased some purple spinach from Chino Farms and i was trying to figure out what to do with it. It is a really attractive looking vegetable, really dark purple leaves without a hint of green(I actually went a little nuts with the purple vegetables purple baby artichokes, purple scallions). I searched fairly extensively on google but really could'nt find anything on it. I was figuring to cook it like regular spinach, sautee with a little olive oil and garlic. But i dont want to overwhelm it if possible.

Has anybody used this before and if so how have you cooked this?

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  1. Two hints:

    (1) Type in "purple spinach" at Google and you will find info. You might also read there that purple spinach is also called "orach" or "purple orach" > so key that into Google for information also. Or, go nuts and type in "purple vegetables."

    (2) You have bought some. So, pick a little leaf and taste it, just as you would regular spinach. What does it taste like to YOU? Make into recipes accordingly. Not all taste buds are the same.


    "Purple varieties of vegetables don't always taste the same as their green relatives."

    You have bee lucky to find some of thie "new" trend in purple vegeatables.

    Many of the "purple" varieties of veggies are simply an older variety of the plant. A most common one is purple cabbage. Yet, also, there are purple onions, purple potatoes, purple artichokes, purple basil, purple endive, purple peppers, purple asparagus, purple carrots . . . even purple seaweed. Not all easily found.

    "Vegetables and fruits in the BLUE/PURPLE group
    contain phytochemicals, like anthocyanins and
    phenolics. Both of these phytochemicals are powerful antioxidants and are being studied for their potential to reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease and slowing down the aging process."

    Purple spinach tastes like green, but looks different. Eat it fresh or cooked. It appears almost black when cooked.

    Purple spinach is a "specialty green" according to the link below.

    And, if you're in to the dramatics of color on a plate, maybe you'd enjoy "Forbidden Rice", also cooks into a deep purple color.

    See, also,

    Have fun! Have a colorful day.


    3 Replies
    1. re: kc girl

      I thought the French Purple spinach might be the orach we sell. I was going to put in the following link with a photo, my husband and I put together the photo and recipes, we sell orach to restaurants in SF, but KC girl already did. So I'll just put the photo in:


      1. re: chardgirl

        Thanks i think that was it, i saw a lot of references to orach but since i couldnt find a picture of it i wasnt sur ethat was it.

        I actually cooked it with a little garlic and butter with an anchovy thrown in. The taste was similar to green spinach but clearly not the same, the purple had a more metallic taste to it. It also slightly reminded me of parsley too. All in all it was good eats.

        Oh and the purple scallions i bought had a wonderful mild flavour to them.

      2. re: kc girl

        Thanks i googled it but was unsure of what orach was due to a lack of pictorial evidence.

        I actually had the same idea as the purple rice. The spinach gave off a liquid that obviously could be used as a dye and this would work well with rice if you wanted to colour it.

      3. Oooh, would you like this recipe?

        Click on link below, read, click on "next" to see page two, etc. for all results. (warning, this might be time consuming!



        1 Reply
        1. re: kc girl

          I dont think those are purple spinach recipes per se, but rather french as in nationality of origin of the recipe. That is why i had a hard time finding anything as far as purple