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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

How did my grandmother ever cook without the internet? Pretty much the first thing I do, when I need a meal, is to see what google can do for me. (Anyone want some used cookbooks, by the way?)

So, today's challenge was sorrel. I searched for information about sorrel before I even looked for recipes. Just to see if I really wanted to bother with it.

And I found out that it is a horse!

Picture borrowed from Wikipedia.
Then I found some more useful information. About sorrel the herb. vegetable. herb. weed.  

Picture borrowed, again, from wikipedia. 

As a result of my detective work, I now know that sorrel is a perennial. I know it grows in Africa, England, Greece, and many other places around the world. I also learned that sorrel just may be the plant that St. Patrick was really looking at when he talked about the trinity.  But I can't wait for St. Patrick's day to eat it, because one other thing I learned is that it only lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator. We are on day 3, people. Time is of the essence.

But what do I do with this stuff? Other than move to Africa to start a farm? Other than religious education? I learned that it has a sharp flavor, from its oxalic acid (which just so happens to be a poison, and can be fatal in large doses). That's it! I guess I use it to carefully disguise my evil plans to start collecting life insurance. Who would ever guess death by sorrel?

For the record, I looked up the dangers of oxalic acid. Sorrel has far less of the stuff than spinach or chives have. And I have never heard of anyone dying from spinach. Not even Popeye.

So, now that I knew that the stuff is poisonous but not too much, may or may not represent God and Jesus and stuff, and may or may not refer to horse hair, I felt like I may or may not have been ready to think about cooking.

I looked for recipes next. The first place I went was the website for AHOrganics, the fine people who supply me with weeds  poison vegetables each week. They have hundreds of recipes on their website. Unfortunately, none of them contains sorrel.

So, I went back to google, and I found some recipes for pestos, some sauces for fish (I do NOT do fish), and the suggestion to use it in salads. I tried eating a piece, to see how I felt about putting it in a salad. When raw, it tastes like a cross between freshly mowed lawn and every other green leafy vegetable. So salad is out. I also found a way to cook eel with it. Umm, no.

That's when I realized how silly I have been. There is a gal who lives in my town, who has quite possibly the best cooking blog ever. Because she lives near me, she is often cooking the same fresh vegetables that I am, as they are harvested. However, she is infinitely more skilled, more knowledgable, more experienced, and more professional than I. As a matter of fact, I suggest you quit reading me, and read her instead. Here she is, folks. A girl, A market, A meal.

Of course, her blog came through for me. She just happens to have a recipe where sorrel is cooked into a cream sauce and served over pasta.  Never mind the fact that her recipe uses asparagus, and all of my asparagus was eaten up last night, wouldn't ya know.

I followed her recipe almost exactly, except I replaced the asparagus with cauliflower. 

Her instructions and photos are far better than anything I would come up with, so here you go! All I can say is... if you find yourself with some sorrel, or a chance to get some sorrel, click that link. And enjoy. I sure did.