Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sorrel Pesto

~ ingredients for pesto ~
Well, I harvested my lemon sorrel plants in one fell-swoop. I recall last year the deer came in & ate everything before I could do this, so I've been hoarding my last few jars this spring.

This pesto recipe is not exact - it changes every year based on taste buds alone. Some years I want it really lemony, other years more garlic & since this is a base recipe, whenever I use it, I can continue to add ingredients to alter the flavour for each recipe.

Basic Pesto Recipe:
* sorrel leaves - washed, spun dry & removed from stem
* peppercorns
* kosher salt (this year I used Maldon salt - get this one!)
* garlic
* lemon juice (fresh is preferred, but I use lots & the bottled stuff is fine)
* olive oil

This year I added mustard greens for a spicy kick as I have this stuff growing like crazy in the gardens & it is time to plant other greens.

This is also the first year I'm using my little red machine. It is not really a food processor per say, but it did the job just fine. If you have a blender - use that for a finer, smoother consistency in your end product. I do not use Parmesan cheese or pine nuts at this stage - it can always be added later.

Procedure:
* roughly chop or rip up the sorrel leaves & place a handful or 2 in your machine.
* add a peeled garlic clove, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp peppercorns, 2 Tbsp lemon juice & 2 Tbsp olive oil (or grape seed oil)
* process til greens are smooth & peppercorns & garlic well blended.
* now comes the fun part - TASTE IT. It will need more greens as it will be runny in texture. Does it need a splash more lemon juice? How about more salt? Add the greens first, process & taste again. I find that I will add 4 to 6 cups of greens before I find the flavour that I'm looking for. Usually a bit more salt & a few more peppercorns are thrown in as well.

If you are making a large batch, such as I was here - it is best if you mix all your batches together before pouring off into small jars. A juice jug works well, or large yogurt containers. You can then blend the first batches that might be too salty or too runny with the later batches you make while you are fine tuning your recipe.

~ green goddess food ~
Pour your Green Goddess food into small jars, label & pop in the freezer.

I like to use baby food jars - they thaw quickly & are used up quickly before going off. I think this would last quite well in the fridge for 2 weeks - but mine never do. I use it on everything: poached eggs, fish, in other sauces (guacamole) or in stews or even on steak instead of bbq sauce.

You can mix in mayo or sour cream for a veggie dip that is quite tangy & nice. Add a bit of curry & wowza!!

If you want the more traditional pesto, throw a small jar into the food processor with your Parmesan & pine nuts - maybe a handful of basil too.

This is amazing food & will make your winter meals feel like spring is just around the corner - if you are able to hide a few jars in the freezer for that long!

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