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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Whose sorrel now?

Yesterday I went to our local fruit and veg shop to do our weekly shop and was quite excited to see that they were selling sorrel. I'd noticed it in loads of recipes but have never seen it for sale, so I bagged some pronto.

And oh what a marvellous thing it is! It looks like spinach, but packs a crazy tanginess that's a lot like licking a battery. I didn't want to dilute this taste sensation by cooking it too much so I decided to turn it into pesto and mix it through some hot spaghetti. I'm warning you - once you go down this path, you will never see pesto in the same light again.

Unconventionally I have used almonds in this recipe, I think they compete better with the punchy lemony flavours than pine nuts would.

What you need
1 bunch of sorrel (the big leafed variety), roughly torn up
half a handful of almonds
1 big garlic clove
big pinch of salt
big glug of good olive oil
a food processor

The do
Put the almonds on a baking tray and roast them under the grill, jiggling them around every so often. Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quite suddenly. When they are done, set aside.
In the food processor, blitz the garlic, oil and salt first, then add the sorrel and blitz again. Add a little more oil if it's too dry and gets stuck. Add the almonds and pulse to keep the nuts chunky. Season with salt and pepper. When you are happy with the consistency of your pesto, it's ready to go. Serve tossed through some hot spaghetti (reserve a little cooking water to loosen up the pesto when you are tossing it though the pasta). If you are lucky enough to have any left this would keep in a jar with a thin layer of oil on top, but it may lose some of its vibrancy.

Director's Cut Kate Bush

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