Lore and Legend of Sorrel from The Good Herb by J. Benn Hurley
Some Irish historians say that sorrel, not clover, may have been the original shamrock, and that it may have been the arrow-shaped, three-cornered sorrel leaf that St. Patrick used as a model for the trinity. Early Egyptians and Romans nibbled on fresh sorrel leaves after overeating, both for their soothing effect on the digestive system and for their diuretic properties. In North America, 200 years ago, sorrel was eaten as "lemonade in a leaf." It's a good source of vitamin C, and used to be taken to prevent scurvy.
"Sorrel" Musings from Everyone Eats Well in Belgium by Ruth Van Waerebeek
In the United States, sorrel is usually considered an herb, but it is really a leafy green vegetable not unlike spinach. It is much prized in Belgium for its tart, acidic taste, and we grow it in our kitchen gardens right next to the spinach.
from The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson: An old English accompaniment to meat and fish was greensauce made from sorrel pounded to a paste with vinegar or lemon juice and sugar; and this name was also applied to the plant itself.
Sorrel Risotto idea from Susan K:
I used the sorrel last night it was fabulous--I sauted the leaves in olive oil with chopped garlic until it was kind of mushy. Then I stirred it into risotto just before serving.I hope to see some more of it in the next box
Beet Salad with Sorrel with Pistachio Dressing from Chef Jonathan Miller
Sorrel is highly underrated. A delicious, tart green. It's also a great keeper in the fridge. Make sure you stem your sorrel and wash it thoroughly. Use any small leaves whole.
2 bunches beets
1/4 c pistachios + xtra fr garnish, roasted & unsalted
3-4 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 bunch sorrel
2 cups croutons
Roast your beets to your liking. (I roast mine at 375, covered, in a baking dish with 1/4 c water.) Peel and slice into wedges.
Blend the pistachios in a blender with 3/4 c water and blend until very smooth. Strain and season with salt and pepper. Whisk this with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Check for seasoning and toss a few of the tablespoons with the beets.
Stem the sorrel and julienne the leaves. Put the julienned leaves on the bottom of a plate, top with the beets, then the croutons, then drizzle with some remaining dressing. Finish with some extra pistachios and some more pepper.
Penne with Mushrooms and Fresh Sorrel from The Good Herb by J. Benn Hurley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, mashed through a press
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small chile pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
6 cups hot cooked penne or other pasta, about 3/4 pound dried
1/3 cup minced sorrel leaves
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, then pour in the oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, onion and hot pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until saucy and fragrant, about 7 minutes more. In a large bowl, toss the penne with the sauce and sorrel. Serve warm.
Leek and Sorrel Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
adapted from Big Oven.com
1/4 c Unsalted butter; (1/2 stick)
4 c Chopped leeks; (cleaned and chopped)
2 c Sorrel or spinach; washed
4 oz Smoked salmon; (4 to 8)
Sour cream; for garnish
1/4 c All-purpose flour
Chopped chives; for garnish
Heat saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter when pan is hot. After butter melts, add leeks and saute until tender but not brown. Add sorrel; cook briefly to wilt sorrel. Remove from heat; let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Add cooled leek mixture. Heat griddle over medium-high heat. Film with oil. When oil is hot, drop about 2 tablespoons batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook until brown. Turn and continue to cook until brown on other side. Remove from griddle and top with salmon, sour cream and chives. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 to 10 appetizer servings.
Split Pea Soup with Sorrel Stir chopped fresh sorrel greens into hot pea soup just before serving.
Carrot Sorrel Juice
1-2 stalks of celery
1/2-1 whole bunch sorrel
Clean the carrots and remove any green parts. Wash the celery but do not remove the leaves. Cut the granny smith apple into 1/8th segments and remove the bitter seed pod. Rinse the sorrel leaves. Run everything through the juicer starting with the carrots. After one or two carrots have been run through the machine put the celery and sorrel through and then alternate carrots and apples until they are gone. Strain the juice through a couple layers of cheesecloth or a fine strainer to remove the pulp that makes it through the juicer screen if desired (this will produce a clear juice devoid of the grittyness, that some people do like).
Apple Sorbet With Sorrel Recipe
From Victory Garden serves 4
* 2 cups apples
* 2 cups apple juice
* 2 cups french sorrel, firmly packed
1. The apples should be peeled and diced into cubes.
2. Bring the apples and apple juice to a boil over high heat.
3. When it boils, turn the heat to medium and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Pour the apple mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until it is cold [approximately 1 hour].
5. Process apple mixture and sorrel leaves in a blender at high speed, until smooth.
6. Freeze according to ice cream machine makers directions for Sorbet.
7. You can also place in casserole dish and freeze in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.
Chop the stems and leaves from one bunch of sorrel. Melt some butter and sweat some chopped onion or leek, then add the stems and leaves of the sorrel. Add a few cups of stock(vegetable or chicken) with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. To get fancier: you can add milk or creme fraiche or half and half and pureé this soup... It can be eaten hot or chilled.
Sorrel is classic as a sauce for fish:
Sorrel Sauce for Fish from The Peppermill Rest. in Clearwater, FL
1/2 cup chopped fresh sorrel
2 T dry white wine
3 T minced green onions
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 t fresh lime juice
Ground white pepper
Combine sorrel, wine and shallots in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sorrel wilts, about 2 minutes. Add cream and lime juice. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, about 12 minutes. Transfer sauce to blender. Puree until almost smooth. Return sauce to same saucepan. Season with ground white pepper and salt.
SORREL VICHYSSOISE from Gourmet
1 cup finely chopped white and pale green part of leek, washed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound boiling potatoes
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 pound fresh sorrel, stems discarded and shredded coarse
1/2 cup heavy cream(I used milk successfully)
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, or to taste
In a large saucepan cook the leek and the onion with salt and
pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the
vegetables are softened, add the potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces,
the broth, and the water, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes,
or until the potatoes are very tender. Stir in the sorrel and simmer the mixture
for 1 minute. Purée the mixture in a blender in batches, transferring it as
it is puréed to a bowl, and let it cool. Stir in the cream or milk, the chives,
and salt and pepper to taste, chill the soup, covered, for at least 4 hours
or overnight, and serve it sprinkled with the additional chives.
Sorrel and Goat Cheese Quiche
Adapted from Luna Circle Farm
2-3 cups sorrel, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 ounces goat cheese or other soft cheese
1½ cups milk
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese in the bottom of a pie crust. Cover with chopped sorrel and scallions. Beat eggs, salt and milk together. Pour over greens. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.ps.
Cream of Sorrel Soup
Clean, shred from the midrib and chop:
½ cup sorrel leaves
1½ cups leaf lettuce
Sauté them until wilted in:
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
When they are sufficiently wilted, there will be only about 3 tablespoons of leaves.
5 cups poultry or vegetable stock
Simmer about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add a small amount of the soup to: ½ cup cream
3 beaten egg yolks
Combine all ingredients and heat until the soup thickens slightly, but do no boil. Makes 5 to 6 cups.
Source: Joy of Cooking
Sorrel Pesto: great as an interesting pasta coating or a thick sauce for fish.
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh sorrel, ribs removed
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
In a food processor or blender puree the sorrel, the parsley, the garlic, the parmesan, the pine nuts and the oil, transfer the pesto to a jar with a tight fitting lid and chill it, covered. The pesto keeps, covered and chilled, for 2 weeks. Makes about 1 cup.
To use the pesto: For every pound of dried pasta cooking in a kettle of boiling water, stir together in a heated serving bowl 3/4 cup of the pesto and 2/3 cup of the hot cooking water. When the pasta is al dente, drain it in a colander, add it to the pesto mixture, and toss the mixture until the pasta is coated well. Vermicelli works very well with this recipe.
If you've never used sorrel, try adding small amounts to your salads. In any recipe that calls for spinach you can substitute a small amount of sorrel-try 1/4 sorrel, 3/4 spinach as a start. Place a sprig or two on sandwiches with the lettuce or in place of watercress. Shred sorrel into soups with a tomato or fish base. It is one of the herbs that is best added at the last minute instead of cooking for longer periods of time. Sorrel does not dry well, but you can puree the leaves and store in the freezer to use as seasoning. For salads and when using raw choose leaves that are less than 6 inches, but save the larger ones for cooking.
When adding sorrel cut back on the amount of lemon and vinegar in the recipe. It's a good herb for those on salt free diets because it adds seasoning without salt.
These are simple sorrel recipes that can be adapted to your tastes. Remember that you can add sorrel to any fresh salad, or combine with spinach in any of your favorite recipes!
Greens and Fish
An old authentic French recipe
1/2 pound chard
1/2 pound spinach
few leaves of sorrel
one garlic clove
2 pounds thin fish fillets
Place the greens and one peeled, crushed garlic clove in a pot and cook for ten minutes, then chop. Add the fish, and cook for 10-15 minutes until done-NO longer. Place piece of crusty bread on a plate and serve the fish and the chopped greens beside one another with the liquid.
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup sorrel, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 tsp salt
Shred sorrel. In a heavy pan, heat half the butter and add sorrel and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, while stirring. Combine the eggs and cream in a bowl, beating gently. Add the sorrel mixture and combine. Add the remaining butter to a skillet and heat until butter is slightly browned. Add the egg mixture and stir briskly with the back of a fork or spoon until the eggs are evenly spread on the bottom of the skillet. Keep moving the unset eggs around with the utensil smoothly until there is no liquid left. Do not overcook. Shake the pan gently over the heat a few times. Fold the omelet over in half and serve.
1/2 pound sorrel
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups water
1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
Clean and shred sorrel, then chop. In a large heavy pan, heat butter. Add sorrel and cook, stirring, for ten minutes until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Add the water, potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Strain and mash or puree the vegetables. Stir the cooking liquid into vegetables and return to pan. Bring to boil. Stir in milk and yolk. Cook until hot, but do not boil. Serve with French Bread.
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