Friday, June 25, 2010

Sorrel Pesto

While a lot of things in my veggie gardens aren't producing much (so far), my sorrel plants have exploded. Last year I thought I would try this plant - not sure if I would call it an herb, since it's not something I would add to my salads in any great quantity. It's got an amazing lemon flavour & tang - the first time I tried it, I shoved a whole leaf into my mouth & was puckered for an hour!

I had to find a way to eat it - or rather, a way to convince my husband to eat it...

So I found some recipes for sorrel pesto on the internet & started experimenting. The recipe I finally made through a bit of trial & error & mixing & matching has resulted in a wonderful (if not brightly coloured) pesto that is great on fish (particularly salmon), great with crackers & quite nice with eggs & toast in the mornings.

This spring I had to divide the plants that grew last year because I didn't fully understand how they grew - and grow they do! They have a long tap root, so need a bit of depth in the garden beds. They also handle multiple harvests well, so you don't need too many plants. After I divided them up, I do believe I have about 30 of them, spread around my veggie beds - mostly in corners. I already had to cut them all back this spring as they loved the wet weather & I didn't have a blender in which to make the pesto. After today's harvest, they will take about a month to recover & produce a new batch of leaves for harvesting. The seed heads are pretty, but I'd rather not have them fully taking over my gardens, so I cut them all back too.
This is the second amount I cut today for processing. The leaves are a bit large & tougher than they should be, but the blender can handle it.
My newest tool in the kitchen is a magic bullet - funny little device, but it worked wonders for the pesto & I'm looking forward to trying more things with it.

I rip out the ribs from the leaves, give them a quick spin in the salad spinner & rip them into smaller chunks. I stuffed the container, added some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, whole pepper corns & garlic & then started blending it up. I usually add a few more handfuls of sorrel leaves & taste the mix as I'm going along. It's lemony with a bit of salt & garlic. I opted out of adding toasted pine nuts this year as I really don't think that it's necessary & they are a bit pricey (& hard to come by in our little store).
End result is this bright coloured, very smooth & creamy pesto. I store them in baby food jars because that's about the right amount for most dishes serving 2 to 4. I might add a bit of mayo when cooking with it, or sour cream for a dip. I'm leaving my jars (got 9 today) in the fridge over night & will double check the flavour before popping them in the deep freeze. It lasts in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, although I have been known to forget it was there for a week or 2 & haven't noticed it turning off.

I actually prefer sorrel pesto to basil pesto now that I've found this!


Ruralrose said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I have tons of sorrel, different kinds even, left here from the previous gardener over 20 years ago, but I have never known how to use it. I make pesto out of garlic scapes and I too never add the pine nuts. I am going to make so tomorrow and can't wait. Peace

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

I can't wait to hear your results! I didn't indicate amounts for this recipe because it's all so subjective to what you are seeking for flavour, so I hope you have fun & come up with some great tastey pesto!