I love this time of year in Oregon. It’s sunny and warm enough to sleep with the windows open, but still cool enough at night that you need a down comforter. Everything is in green and blooming, and all the fresh herbs are becoming available. Last weekend, Gigi and went to visit a friend’s farm and she loaded me up with sorrel from their garden as we were leaving. I’d never used sorrel before and she recommended I make a pesto from it. The sorrel made a fantastic pesto that had a slightly more bitter flavor than basil. We pulled some wonderful salmon from the freezer and had ourselves an easy, wonderful dinner.
Recently I was visiting a friend’s farm and as I was leaving she loaded me up with a bag full of sorrel. I’d never used it before and she suggested I use it to make pesto. So I whipped it up when I got home and it was a huge hit. It has a very different flavor from basil, a bit more bitter and earthy, but completely unique and delicious. I can’t wait to make it again and experiment with different kinds of nuts and cheese!
SORREL PESTO RECIPE
4 cups sorrel, stems trimmed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, blend together the sorrel, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon zest and garlic. Scrape down the sides. With the machine running drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto forms into a smooth, creamy, paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For serving with pasta, cook the pasta until al dente, reserve a bit of the pasta water, drain the pasta. Toss the pesto and pasta together, adding a little bit of the pasta water to thin the pesto and help it adhere to the pasta. Serve with a little parmesan cheese.