Sometimes one makes, or notices, some curious connections between different types of food.
For example, there are two delicious British vegetables and one fruit that taste curiously similar – and all three are in season right now. And since one is a stem, one a berry and one a leaf, it’s fair to say they could hardly be less closely related (unless, I suppose, one was a seaweed).
Have you worked out the answer to this riddle yet? I’m talking about rhubarb, gooseberries and… sorrel. OK, they’re not exactly indistinguishable, but they are sort of interchangeable, especially when it comes to $2k celine spring making a tangy sauce for oily fish (see this week’s first recipe). What they have in common, of course, is that tang – a fresh, mouth-puckering acidity that teases, tickles and delights.
Rhubarb and gooseberries get quite a bit of attention these days – all deserved – but for many cooks sorrel is still something of a mystery. So 0 celine a scene 75 facebook let’s get it out in the open and flash it around a bit. It doesn’t bite – except metaphorically (and how).
In spring and early summer at River Cottage, we often gather the little shield-shaped leaves of wild sorrel to add whole to salads – you’ll find them in almost any permanent pastures where chemical fertilisers and weedkillers are never used – but we also $1600 new celine brown distressed leather satchel boston tote bag handbag purse grow lots in the garden. The cultivated leaves are larger and 0 celine bag 30 cm equals how many inches softer, and although the young ones also go in our salads, we mainly cook with the mature leaves. (If you want a continuous supply of zesty leaves for summer salads, the buckler leaf variety, with its rounded leaves, is the best to grow.)
Toss these young and little leaves in salads with a variety of lettuces (though not, perhaps, bitter or hot leaves such as chicory or rocket – the flavours fight). Dress simply with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. There’s no need for lemon or vinegar; sorrel is tangy enough. Try adding a few shredded leaves to $4850 celine runway sleeveless alpaca hooded coat fr34 nwt cream cheese $950 new celine us 10 eu 40 pony hair 2 $1k iconic nib celine bam bam sandals nude 37 us 7 and cucumber sandwiches, or shred some into fromage frais or soft goat’s cheese and spread on toast. For a delicious canapé, spread the leaves with the thinnest smear of cream cheese and a sliver of smoked salmon or trout, and roll up.
When you’re cooking the larger, mature leaves, strip out and discard the stalks, just as you would with spinach, before cooking. Avoid aluminium or cast-iron pans, though, because the oxalic acid in the leaves reacts with the metal and affects the flavour.
Given sorrel’s sprightly, tangy flavour, it’s surprising that with the vaguest suggestion of heat the leaves turn a rather militaristic shade of olive – or, less politely, cowpat green. Just like spinach, it shrinks dramatically when cooked, so always pick more than you think you’re going to need. Sorrel certainly forms the laziest and most accommodating of purées – no mechanical assistance required: simply shred it, throw it into warm butter and in a matter of seconds it will transform itself into the silkiest of sauces.
Sorrel’s a natural companion to eggs – a simple sorrel soup, say, tastes and looks wonderful with a poached egg floating in it; or spoon some sorrel sauce (see recipe overleaf) over thick sourdough toast and top with a poached egg for a rather special supper dish. Experiment and use it to perk up your fail-safe eggy dishes – toss a few leaves into an omelette with some cubes of cooked potato, for example, or add a handful to an onion tart.
Sorrel’s other match made in heaven is oily fish – including salmon, $950 new celine us 10 eu 40 pony hair 2 0 celine a scene 75 facebook sea trout, sea bass and, most joyously and thriftily of all, our dearly beloved mackerel.
Mackerel with sorrel sauce
This delicious dish is really the work of minutes. Serves two.
4 mackerel fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
50g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp double cream
Wash the sorrel well, remove and discard the stalks and chop the leaves coarsely.
Season the mackerel fillets with a little salt and pepper. Put a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat and add a thin film of olive oil. When the oil is fairly hot, lay the fillets skin side down in the pan. When the flesh is almost completely white, flip over for just a minute to finish cooking – the whole process shouldn’t take more than five minutes. Transfer to a warm plate while you make the sauce.
Put the butter into the same pan in which you cooked the fish and melt over a medium heat. When the butter is frothing, throw in the sorrel, which will quickly wilt and turn a dull greeny-brown. Give it a swift stir, remove the pan from the heat, let it cool for 30 seconds, then beat in the egg yolk, which will thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enrich the sauce by stirring in the double cream. Serve the mackerel with the warm sorrel sauce and some waxy new potatoes.
Hot new potato $950 new celine us 9 and sorrel salad
A dish on its own, with the best new potatoes of early summer, or just a lovely way of dressing spuds, perhaps to serve with fish. Serves four as a starter.
500g Jersey Royals or other new potatoes
2-3 handfuls of sorrel
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Scrub the potatoes and boil them in well-salted water until just tender – Jersey Royals, in particular, lose much of their charm if they’re over-boiled, so be vigilant and taste a small potato after just seven minutes or so; eight to 10 minutes is often long enough cooking time.
While the potatoes are cooking, strip the central veins out of the sorrel leaves. Wash well and shred into ribbons about 1cm wide.
As soon as the potatoes are done, drain them, cut them in half and put them in a bowl with the butter and a drizzle of oil. Add the shredded sorrel and toss well. Leave for a minute so the heat of the potatoes wilts the sorrel, then toss again. Rest for another minute, then season with salt and pepper, and serve at once.
This sauce works great with gnocchi or pasta new york designer replica handbags, or with simply grilled or roasted fish or chicken.
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1-2 handfuls young sorrel leaves (about 45g in weight)
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stalks removed
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
30g hard goat’s cheese, grated
In a small frying pan over a medium heat, lightly toast the pine nuts until they’re just beginning to turn golden, then tip out into a food processor. Add the garlic, sorrel, parsley and a pinch of salt to the pine nuts, then pulse a few times until roughly chopped and combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil, pulsing as you go, until the pesto is the consistency you like.
Spoon the pesto mixture into a bowl and stir in the goat’s cheese. The pesto will keep, sealed in a jar with a slick of olive oil over the top, for about a week.
· Go to rivercottage.net to catch up on the latest news and events at River Cottage HQ. theguardian.com/hughfearnleywhittingstall