This dish makes use of delicately flavored spring vegetables and bright sorrel and is a perfect compliment to a rich and buttery fish like halibut or salmon or even a poached egg. If I could get my hands on some nice meaty morel mushrooms, they would be great on top of this as well.
Sorrel is an herb that is underutilized in America. Used frequently in French cooking, it is not stocked in most American grocery stores. Look for sorrel in the fresh herb section of well-stocked grocery stores or in farmers markets in early spring. I love sorrel because of its bright and lemony flavor. Because it is sometimes difficult to find, I planted sorrel in a corner of my garden. After a few sparse years when the perennial was establishing itself, I now have a few decent plants that produce more than enough for my needs. I have been experimenting with new ways to use sorrel in my cooking, and I’ve found lots of ways to use sorrel’s vibrant and tart flavor in spring recipes:
- Use in spring vegetable risottos
- Add to an omelette with wild mushrooms and truffle oil
- Add to all types of soups (try adding to a summer lettuce soup, a minestrone, or even to a hearty lentil soup to add a touch of brightness)
- Add to green salads
- Make a sorrel pesto or add to a basil or cilantro pesto
Or you can use it in a spring vegetable ragu, as I do in this recipe. Here, sorrel is paired with a variety of spring vegetables to create a bright and healthy vegetable ragout to top with a rich piece of fish like halibut or salmon, or even a poached egg for a great vegetarian brunch or light dinner.
- 1 TBSP butter or margarine
- 1 small fennel bulb, finely diced (about a cup)
- 1 large shallot or spring onion, minced
- 1 small leek, finely diced (about a cup)
- 1 cup peas (frozen are fine)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- ~6 large sorrel leaves, chopped
- 1-2 TBSP other chopped fresh herbs (dill, parsley, basil, tarragon) OPTIONAL
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Heat butter in large skillet on medium heat
- Add fennel and cook for 2 minutes
- Add shallot and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-5 minutes until vegetables are softened
- Add peas, cream and lemon zest and cook for another 2 mintues, then remove pan from heat and add sorrel and other herbs (if using) and lemon juice
- Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Finely diced zuchinni is another vegetable that works nicely in this ragu.