Until I purchased a bundle at a recent farmers market, I though sorrel was the color of a horse. Turns out gray does play a role in the leafy green, but not immediately.
When it’s picked in April and May, sorrel is a beautiful spring green, and the leaves taste like lemon. But cook it into risotto like I did, the first time, and the color of the dish turns — to put it nicely — an unappetizing shade of brownish gray.
My husband Tony wouldn’t touch it, but I was undeterred because the taste of sorrel is fresh and delicious. So I tried again with sorrel from Downing Hollow Farm, improvising a simple version of beans and greens served over polenta and dressed with a sprinkle of Parmesan and crumbled bacon.
This time, even Tony liked it, and it looked more appealing, because I also added baby spinach leaves. The green of the spinach diffused the color of the sorrel, but didn’t hide its distinctive taste.
Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try.
Sorrel and Beans over Polenta
3 slices of bacon, crumbled
1 small white onion, diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Splash of olive oil
14-oz can of Italian style diced tomatoes
19-oz can of cannellini beans, drained but save some of the liquid
Bag of baby spinach leaves
3 or 4 cups of sorrel, stems removed
Freida’s garlic and basil polenta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Slice polenta and bake in oven about 15 minutes at 350.
Fry and drain the bacon.
Keep a little bacon grease in the pan — just a little! Add a splash of olive oil.
Sauté garlic and diced onions.
When soft, deglaze pan with white wine.
Drain beans, but save a little liquid. Add to pan.
Toss in handfuls of spinach and sorrel to taste.
Add a more liquid from the beans if necessary.
Serve over polenta and garnish with grated Parmesan and crumbled bacon.