Friday, May 1, 2009

French sorrel

A seed order last June included French sorrel, among other interesting seeds (I think it must have been the Dyna kohlrabi that produced so well in containers for Garden Fest!)

French sorrel (Rumex scutatus) is kin to garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), a European species that's made a home in acidic disturbed areas in many places.

I sowed some seed in containers, then transplanted 3 plants to the main vegetable garden, not expecting too much. But after a mild showing in fall, these plants have been producing large succulent leaves all spring. And, they grow fast.

So I've been investigating what the heck you do with an abundance of sorrel leaves -- hmm, sorrel soup sounds good, but the recipe that calls for a 1/2 cup of heavy cream isn't going to happen. Small leaves in salads are delicious, certainly (sorrel is quite tart, because of the oxalic acid in the leaves). A pesto made with sorrel was quite tasty this evening, although a bit bland (more garlic next time, perhaps, and sharper cheese). A sorrel tart quiche sounds good (but doesn't use enough leaves).

Perhaps I'll try my all-purpose solution to an abundance of leafy greens - a LARGE stir-fry of leaves in olive oil and garlic with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Yum. And left-over greens are always good, too.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, haven't had access to home grown sorrel since I lived in New England. But maybe I'll give it a try here.
    The classic French soup does have cream and even eggs as enrichments but you can make a nice one with sorrel, leeks and potatoes. The potatoes lend the creaminess when pureed. I just like the addition of leeks, but any allium would do. Of course, a dollop of creme fraiche on top is pretty nice too.

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  2. Sorrel with leeks and potatoes sounds great, and my leek plants are looking promising. And I certainly have lots of onions, of all sorts, from bunching (Welsh) to 'potato' onions to bulbing sorts. My Allium rotation was a bit enthusiastic this year in the main vegetable garden, because of the root-knot nematodes.

    I should try the classic French soup, for fun -- my sorrel plants seem to be thriving (and producing more leaves all the time).

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  3. Sorrel sauce is delicious with cooked salmon or sea bass.
    See Rick Stein's recipe at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/escalopesofsalmonwit_5487.shtml
    Yes, I KNOW it has cream in it, but it's only 1 1/2 fl oz per person. I always think that if you are cooking a good fish it deserves a good sauce.

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