| Wednesday, May 22, 2013 |
One of my favorite fresh herbs is sorrel. I imagine that I first became interested in
it because it was old fashioned and seemed some how mystical. I found a sorrel plant at the Portland Farmer’s
Market a number of years ago when I kept a community garden spot in Payson Park. Well, a couple of years ago I gave up the
spot. And I moved the poor thing into a
container. And there it has resided
through two Maine winters, exposed, on the walkway, uncared for, neglected, un-watered,
and if I’m honest I ‘d have to admit that I was kind of hoping it might expire. If it passed out of the world I could compost
it and not have to worry about this unsightly thing.
Though there it was in early spring, the first tender green leaves
ready to add levity and good cheer to any dish.
I have to admit, the plant isn’t really ugly but it does have a weed
like appearance and I wonder if the mail person is curious why the folks at
this house don’t mow their lawn and why they grow weeds in plant pots.
Looks aside, sorrel is delicious and (obviously) hardy. It’s one of the first plants up in the spring.
Its fresh, bright, lemony tang is a welcome respite from the winter doldrums. There are two dishes I make with sorrel:
omelets and lentil soup.
For an omelet simply chop and melt the sorrel in butter; it’s
like spinach and it melts into a kind of a paste. Use a scant tablespoon’s worth for the
filling of a simple French omelet. Don’t
be too heavy handed: Sorrel can overpower your palette.
I made the lentil soup the other night Elizabeth David (from
her book on Provence) uses ¼ lb of lentils, ¼ of sorrel, water and butter, and
that’s it, and it’s very good!!
Using one of the leeks I picked up on sale this is what I
- 1 Leek:
- 2 Medium
Carrots: small dice
- 1 Cup of
Brown Lentils (washed and picked over)
- 1 Very good
handful of fresh Sorrel leaves (you can use Watercress)
- Salt &Pepper
leeks and carrots in butter until the leeks are nice and soft. Add the lentils and water, about a quart (I
like a brothy lentil soup). Bring to a
boil; turn down to a simmer.
chop the sorrel, melt it in butter.
lentils are just about done add the sorrel.
In Elizabeth David’s lentil soup she has you blend it at this point and
add a couple of tablespoons of butter (My immersion blender is broken so I used
my potato masher a bit and then whisked it).
This was a delicious
I even took it to work for lunch a couple of
times and didn’t get tired of it--now that’s something!