In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sorrel -- a rather sour green leafy vegetable

This week I found some sorrel, sometimes called spinach dock (German "Sauerampfer"). The farmer warned me "just so you know, it's not spinach, and it's really sour!" -- but as soon as I told him I use in some of my German recipes, he responded "Ahh, no wonder, you're European!"
Sorrel could be considered more of an herb than a leafy vegetable. Its acidity is due to oxalic acid, which is also found in rhubarb. It's good stuff, but use it sparingly.

Sorrel is one of the ingredients called for in my favorite sauce for potatoes, namely "Gruene Sosse" or simply, Green Sauce. Until this week, I had made do with some wild sorrel, but now I found the real (domesticated) thing, and I promptly used it in 2 dishes last night. I'll need to find some seeds to grow it in my garden next summer (once harvested, sorrel does not keep more than a few days).

First, I made Frankfurter Gruene Sosse (recipe can be found at my previous post here, or see AmiExpat's cooking challenge "Grie Soss"). I was perhaps too generous with the sorrel and should have been a little more sparing -- more than one diner commented that the sauce was more sour than usual...

I also made this green soup as a first course or appetizer, based on a recipe I found in one of my European cookbooks, simply called

Alpine Soup
1-2 T butter
1-2 leeks, sliced
celery root, cubed
potatoes, turnips, carrots (optional)
broccoli stems, cubed ( use these if you've got some left over after florets used in other dish)
2-4 c broth or water
bunch of Greens -- combination of spinach, swiss chard, cress, etc
parsley, dill
Salt, pepper
marjoram (optional)
cream or half-half

Saute leeks in butter, add celery & other harder root veggies, add water or broth. Cook until soft. Add greens and cook until wilted. Process in blender and return to stove. Reheat gently. Add cream right before serving, heat but don't boil. Serve with croutons or paninis.

What I really like is being able to use a bunch of healthy greens without the kids necessarily even being aware of eating them. Even the hubby didn't realize I sneaked in the broccoli stems, something he does not eat without grumbling -- but in this soup, everybody slurped away happily...

1 comment:

  1. I find this very interesting and wonder if I can get this in my market. I recently made a soup using collard greens and found it very tasty. Thanks for sharing!