Sorrel Pesto

April 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

My homepage when I open up the web browser is Netvibes. I really appreciate their easy tag system that organizes all my  favorite RSS feeds. I have about 10 different TAG categories. I try to skim through them all at least once a week. When there is a feed that I keep finding myself returning to, it gets filed under the INSPIRATION TAG. This TAG I check out every morning, it holds the blogs that continually impress me, that I find the most useful, that make me question the way I live.  They are the blogs that have a voice I can hear when I am reading them.

One of  the blog feeds under my INSPIRATION TAG is a food blog by David Lebovitz. Mr Lebovitz is a former pastry chef, cook book writing, American living in Paris. He updates his blog regularly with beautiful recipes and restaurant shots from his travels. I have tried quite a few of his recipes and they are always delicious, especially the desserts. Recently he posted a recipe for Dandelion Pesto. I had never thought of doing pesto with anything but basil, but immediately thought how smart… hmm, how about Sorrel Pesto!

This spring I grew sorrel on our balcony and this weekend Mme Q showed me where a bunch of it is growing in her garden. She shrugged when she looked at it and told me that she did not know how it was growing there. I am starting to belive the god of garden gnomes works in her garden, because you never know what you are going to find… but there is always something!

So I find myself with a very large quantity of sorrel, which I usually cook into a soup, add to salads or melt down into a lovely thick sauce with that is divine with fish. Then I remembered the pesto idea and the next thing I knew my blender was out.

If you have never bought sorrel before, it is not very common, try looking for it at the farmers market. It has a tart lemony taste that is very refreshing. The leaves somewhat resemble spinach, but in fact, sorrel is an early spring perennial herb. From my own experiment, it has been very easy to grow on the balcony and both my in-laws and Mme Q are growing it in their garden with little attention apparently.

The pesto came out refreshing, tangy, delicious… a perfect spring pesto. I served it with spaghetti and diced smoked trout. You could also serve this pesto over fish, as sandwich spread, pizza sauce, over steamed vegetables or grains…

The kids loved the bright green color!

Sorrel Pesto
This is David Lebovitz’s Dandelion Pesto recipe with Sorrel. I did not have 6 TBS of pine nuts, only 4. It came out fine, but I would not use less than that.
Makes 2 cups/500 g (Enough sauce for a family of 4, with a bit leftover)

12 ounces (350g) sorrel leaves pulled from the stem, rinsed and dried in the salad spinner
1 cup (250ml) olive oil
4 cloves garlic
4 – 6 TBS/CS  pine nuts (lightly toast them in a frying pan with oil or butter, very low temp. or they will burn)
1 1/2 tsp/cc sea salt
2 1/2 ounces (70g) grated parmesan  cheese
Prepare ingredients: Pull the stems off of the sorrel, this is done by folding the leaf from the stem, the bottom facing out and tearing the stem up and off. In one hand you will have the leaf, in the other the stem to discard. Lightly toast the pine nuts. I keep pine nuts in the freezer throughout the year (read here about storing nuts). Rinse and dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Peel and smash the garlic with the flat edge of a knife.
In a blender or food processor, add 1/3 of the leaves and the olive oil. Blend to creamy, add half of the remaining leaves, blend, the last half, blend to creamy.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until thick and creamy… You have some delicious Sorrel Pesto! If it is too thick, thin it out with oil or water.
The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for up to four days.  You can pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent the sauce from darkening. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

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§ 2 Responses to Sorrel Pesto

  • Tess says:

    That sounds so good…
    I passed up a nice bunch of sorrel at the Farmers’ Market last weekend. Regret that now.

    Another pesto combination is parsley and sunflower seeds. Oh, and basil and almonds.

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