French cooking! Yeah, I know. I’m not big on fancy, but this sauce may taste fancy, but it couldn’t be simpler to make. How’s 15 minutes? And most of that is simmer time. My oldest son, a man of few words, had only one word for this when we tasted it: “Excellent”.
So what’s sorrel? Lemon sorrel also known as French sorrel is a large leafy herb that looks like spinach. It is a perennial as well, which means it will come back in your herb garden every year. Extremely hardy and has no pest problems. I bought this plant years ago as a 3 inch potted herb. I pinched off a piece of leaf and was stunned by the lemon flavor. WOW! This has potential.
Not easy to find at the grocer, but you may see it at the farmer’s market. If you do snatch it up! The easiest way is to grow it in your garden from a plant or seed. Check your local nursery or seed catalog. Even Amazon sells it.
It has not disappointed me as a reliable herb. A drink during dry spells and this plant will produce the most lemony leaves you have ever tasted. You could call it green lemons….yes, its that lemony. As you can see its now has a base root over 12 inches across.
One of our favorite uses is on sandwiches instead of lettuce. I add it to salads too. But one of the best things is this sauce. Its just butter, sorrel, cream and salt and pepper.
Sauteing the sorrel briefly in butter and adding warmed cream will give you a delicate lemon sauce for anything you want to put it on. Fish is our favorite of course, but over steamed vegetables is also fabulous.
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups of sorrel leaves, stems removed
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (white pepper if you want to be fancy!)
Wash the sorrel and shake off most of the water. Stack the leaves so you can slice them crosswise very thin (1/4 inch across). This is a Chiffonade cut (yes….more French stuff)
Pour the cream into a microwave safe bowl and warm is in the microwave (don’t use 100% power-just warm it-don’t cook it!). I use my microwave’s program to soften cream cheese (melt chocolate would also work well). It’s important to prewarm the cream so when added to the lemony sorrel, the cream won’t curdle.
In a non reactive pan (don’t use your cast iron for this one), melt the butter and add the sorrel strips.
They will collapse quickly and turn an army green color. Not as pretty as fresh, but so delicious. As soon as all the sorrel is added and changed color, add the warmed cream (it must be warm already) and let this simmer over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! It’s ready to serve.
NOTE: This sauce doesn’t store well. Mine was still good the following day on my leftovers from dinner, but wasn’t as good as the night before. Still pretty good though. I would make the sauce within an hour of planned use. You can keep in warm on the back of the stove but it will continue to thicken and may need some stock or milk added to thin.
Serve this over fish or vegetables…or both! Enjoy!
And yes, once the fish was gone, the carrots somehow managed get every last drop of this sauce mopped up by them. So tasty. 🙂