Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tight-Arse Tuesdays: Sorrel
I just discovered sorrel.
I know, I'm a bit behind the curve. The French have been eating sorrel for eons, and Foodies In The Know all seem to love it. But I grew up in a different climate and it wasn't on the menu when I was a kid. Last weekend at the farmers' market they were sampling some, and I was transported. I knew I'd found one of my new favorite vegetables.
That was three days ago, and I'm already out of sorrel and sad about it.
If you see sorrel at the market, BUY IT. Buy lots! You don't want to run out of it in three days. It looks kind of like spinach or chard, but it has a very sweet, fruity taste reminiscent of kiwi fruit. It goes with almost anything. It's very inexpensive, and easy to grow yourself - I've been seeing seeds and starts all over the place, and I'm getting a few sorrel starts for my own garden. Two bucks for unlimited sorrel all season long? Hellsyeah!
In the meantime, here's what became of that first $1.75 bunch of sorrel I got at the farmers' market...
1. Lunch Saturday was a quick saute of leftover chicken with some garlic, to which I added leftover rice and beans. Once that was mixed up and heated through, I piled it on top of fresh chopped sorrel and garnished it with a spoonful of salsa verde. The sorrel provided the perfect crunchy sweetness to go with the other flavors; I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Leftovers Lunch quite so much. (See pic above!)
2. Sorrel in salad. 'Nuff said.
3. Frenchie Breakfast. I sauteed a sliced leek in butter, then threw in the sorrel, then a splash of red wine with a bit of tomato paste. Let that cook through and served it over cheesy polenta (okay, not French) with radishes on the side (very French). The sorrel broke up a bit in the polenta, lending its distinctive fruitiness to the creamy texture. Great stuff.
4. Chicken soup. The rest of the leftover chicken, a mess o' veggies, stock made with the chicken carcass, and just before serving I stirred in the rest of the sorrel (just like you'd do with spinach). It was fabulous. The only reason I didn't fully enjoy it was because I knew that was the last of my sorrel.
Overall, I'd say I prefer it raw to cooked. It goes mushy when cooked, just like spinach but even moreso. And the flavor gets even sweeter when it's cooked, possibly too sweet. But it's still delicious cooked, and it is transcendent served raw. I can't believe it took me this long to discover it... but now at least I get to make up for lost time.