Friday, March 23, 2012

French Sorrel

One of the interesting phenomena of being able to tend the same kitchen garden year to year is the way the so-called garden seasons can overlap. Garlic planted in the fall emerges in the spring. Biennial crops can be overwintered in the ground, root cellar or crisper drawer to be replanted for seed production. Perennial herbs and fruits return--hopefully--like reliable friends every year.


It's that last category I used in my first fresh-harvested dish of the season. When I inspected the garden recently one of the emerging signs of life was the French sorrel plant. It's an herb I tried last year for the first time, not really knowing it was perennial. Since I was anxious to say "I cooked something from this year's garden!" I grabbed a couple leaves a week later and sliced them up.



Tasting them it was evident the fully flavor hadn’t developed yet. There was a faint hint of lemon and sourness but mostly it just tasted green. I went ahead and scrambled the leaves into some eggs with a little butter. In the end, it wasn’t offensive by any means, but I don’t think it added a whole lot either. In any case, I got my first meal featuring this year’s produce.



Now I’m curious about other uses of French sorrel. It’s a productive plant so when I read the traditional recipes for soup or salmon with sorrel sauce I don’t balk at the amount they call for. I wonder if two of my favorite g0-t0 dishes for green leaves could be adapted to accommodate it, saag and pesto. Do you cook with French sorrel? What are your favorite dishes? Please share in the comments if you have a delicious, brilliant idea.


Today’s leafy, spring-green post is part of Post Produce hosted by Daniel Gasteiger over at Your Small Kitchen Garden. Check it out!

4 Responses:

Kenneth said...

Yes, I've made pesto with sorrel, and liked it. I also enjoy it on sandwiches instead of lettuce, or anywhere I would use argula.

Shady Character said...

Thanks for all those ideas, Kenneth! I'm going to put this herb through its paces this season.

Mil said...

I've made sorrel soup and as a sauce on salmon. I am wondering if your sorrel wasn't ready yet as it usually has a bright citrusy taste.

I buy it at the market and we also have a version with red veins growing in the garden. We mostly eat it raw in salads or put it in our daily green smoothies.

There is a neighbor across the street that is also growing the same variety as us, but they are using it as an ornamental. Every time I walk by, I wonder if I should pilfer some...:)

Shady Character said...

I used some more this week and it had much more flavor. A related post should be coming up some time before too long.