I have grown quite a few herbs in my yard for many years, but I’m always trying something new when I can. In the spring I pick up a least a couple to try…they are only a couple of dollars. If we like them, then having them in the yard for easy access is great….not to mention the money you’ll save. This year I planted french sorrel. It is similar to summer spinach but has a lemony punch to it. It is a perennial that
will come back every year. I have added the leaves to salads, but I decided to make a dish where it would be front and center. I had tasted one of the leaves with a little piece of cheese and loved the combination so I decided to make a pesto with it. I knew I would need to combine the sorrel with flavors that could stand up to the assertive flavor of the sorrel. So garlic chives, walnuts, asiago cheese, and a peppery olive oil were my first choices.
Now for the vegetables: slowly sauteed sweet onion with crimini mushrooms and a spoonful of sundried tomato jam gave me a slight sweetness to dance with the bright flavor of the pesto. I added a bit a smoked turkey kilbasa and we had a wonderful new dinner that made my guys smile. This dish comes together in about 45 minutes, perfect for a weeknight meal.
2 cups of sorrel leaves, washed and stems trimmed
(wash well-leaves can be gritty)
1 cup of garlic chives, bottoms trimmed off
1/2 cup walnuts
1-2 Tbs of lemon juice
2/3 cup asiago cheese, shredded, more for garnish
1/2 cup or more good extra virgin olive oil (mine was slightly peppery)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 package of your favorite pasta (we like the multigrain rotini)
1/2 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
8 oz crimini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1-2 tbs of sun dried tomato jam or tomato paste
8-10 ounces of smoked kilbasa (I use a lower fat one made with turkey) cut into bit size pieces
olive oil, as needed
Put a large pot of water onto boil. Salt water, if desired. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Return to pot.
While waiting for the water to boil…..
In your food processor, combine the sorrel, chives, walnuts, asiago and lemon juice. Process on low, scraping down the sides a couple of times. You may need to push to sorrel leaves down. Turn processor back on and stream olive oil through the top opening until you form a thick paste. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
In a medium skillet, slowly saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to sun dried tomato jam or tomato paste. Mushrooms will yield their liquid and mixture will simmer slowly. (by now the water should be boiling-add the pasta, stir and set the timer)
Add the kibasa (it is already cooked)to the vegetables and saute a few more minutes, allowing the onions/mushrooms to start to caramelize and the meat to brown slightly. Remove from heat. Add the veggie/meat mixture to the cooked and drained pasta. Stir. Now add the sorrel pesto and stir until mixture is well coated. Serve with additional asiago. Enjoy!