The crickets are chirping with the sounds of fall and the days are getting shorter. August has been a runaway month for us. Three weekends got away with a wedding in NJ, our week in Vermont and then a Saturday in Baltimore to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 95th birthday. Finally, we’ve been able to get back on track to normalcy to spend the weekend at our home upstate, visiting our friends up there. And then there’s my garden, which has been neglected for all this time. I was afraid I would miss all of my beautiful tomatoes, but thankfully most have waited for me! But my kale and sorrel have all gone wild!! So I had to do something with them. Kale salad last night and tonight (and hopefully our son who lives in Brooklyn will take some more), and the sorrel – so much! – so far, I made a sorrel pesto sauce!
I spent all of Labor Day in the kitchen and garden. Here’s how my garden looked when I arrived on Friday. Holy kale, right!?
I made a basil pesto and then I whipped up this sorrel pesto. After that I made a red sauce, which I simmered for 4 hours with short ribs, a fruit salad and I was going to make a sorrel sauce but my husband couldn’t find any plain unflavored Greek yogurt at any store that was open on this holiday, (the only one being Stewart’s). While cutting everything in the garden, I did a bit of weeding and tied up the tomatoes that were growing all over the place. And then in the kitchen, I did something super dumb. I was reaching deep into this bottom cabinet where we keep the plastic leftover containers, trying to find a matching lid for my sorrel pesto container. I lifted my head before fully backing out and banged and cut my nose on the bottom part of the counter overhang. Wow! How stupid!! Here I am dizzy and bleeding while Steve is at Stewart’s trying to wrestle up some Greek yogurt to no avail.
So I’m holding an ice pack to my eyes and nose while blood drips down all over my face. Not a pretty sight. Steve comes home, we clean up the wound and try to make a butterfly bandage to hopefully heal this thing without a scar. Seems too minor to stitch. Besides, who wants to go to the emergency room? What a mess! Jeesh – the hazards of cooking!
Sorrel is a lovely, lemony flavor. I remembered this lemon asparagus pasta sauce recipe that I used to make all the time. I thought the sorrel pesto would be interesting, with the addition of the cheeses that a traditional pesto has. Because I feel sorrel is lighter than basil, I used a combination of pine nuts and walnuts as the nut addition. I know it’s not often that you may have extra sorrel around your household, but if you do, this is really delicious for a simple yet unique pasta dish.
So give it a go!! But don’t cut your nose like I did!
Remember, it’s all about the quality of the ingredients for any dish you make, so use the very best you can, and always cook with LOVE.
SORREL PESTO – makes about 1.5 cups
3 cups of packed sorrel leaves, thoroughly washed and dried
4 – 5 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil (I like Athena brand)
¼ cup of pine nuts
1/2 cups walnuts
3/4 cups grated Parmesan (Reggiano) cheese
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (Locatelli) cheese
In a large food processor, combine sorrel leaves, garlic, pine nuts and walnuts. Process to make a near paste. Scrape bowl. With machine on, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Scrape bowl again. Add the cheeses, a big pinch of salt and 12 grinds of fresh pepper. Process again, taste and add more salt, if necessary, to your liking.
A one cup portion is enough to coat 1 lb. of dried pasta, cooked. I like it on fusilli or gemelli best as it can get in all the little groves for maximum coverage and flavor. Excellent to put a dab on grilled chicken breasts, squash, potatoes or green beans. Adds a lovely cheesy, lemony flavor.
This freezes well.