Back in the Fall, we had planted French sorrel in our garden, which is the first time we grew it and my first time eating it! French sorrel is commonly used in France for many dishes, but not so common here in the states, which is why it’s nice to introduce this unique plant to those who have never heard of it. Just recently, we finally got the opportunity to harvest this herbaceous plant to prepare something for dinner. French sorrel has a lemony flavor that goes well in soups, salads, seafood, and as a sauce. We wanted to prepare something easy, so we searched for some ideas and came across a sorrel pesto recipe. When you think of pesto, you normally think of basil. But to twist things up, we used the French sorrel leaves to make a creamy pesto that we tossed with bow tie pasta and chicken. We used the extra pesto we had the next day to make a whole wheat pizza with crispy pancetta. It was great to stretch the pesto into two meals. What can be easier than throwing together a few ingredients into your food processor and making a fragrant pesto sauce?
This is our organic French sorrel from the garden, which is still alive and strong throughout these cold months. These acidic leaves are high in Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Remember - greens are good for you!
To the food processor, we made the pesto by combining 2 cups of fresh sorrel with the ribs removed,(The ribs are the part of the stem that goes through the leaf. It's very tough so it should be discarded), 1/4 cup of pine nuts that we toasted in a pan, 1/3 cup parsley, 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil.
The mixture is pureed and should look like this. Taste and adjust for seasonings. You will find that it has a distinct lemon flavor.
You can use this pesto sauce in any pasta you want. We went with a bow tie pasta and cooked up some chicken to go along with the dish. The nuttiness from the pine nuts and the tartness of the sorrel definitely makes the meal interesting. And just for fun, we bundled some French sorrel into a bouquet.
As mentioned, we took the remaining sorrel pesto and made a pizza with the store-bought dough we had on hand. We docked and par-baked the dough first in the oven at 400F for 7-10 minutes because we like our dough crispy. Then we took it out to spread the pesto sauce on top.
Then came the rest of the toppings - a ton of mozarella cheese and pancetta that we crisped up in the pan. Pancetta is a cured meat, similar to bacon. We popped it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese was fully melted and the crust was browned.
We sprinkled a little bit of French sorrel chiffonade on top and this French sorrel pesto pizza was ready to be devoured. We really enjoyed utilizing the fresh sorrel from our garden to make these two simple meals, and we hope that you get a chance to try this lovely green herb if you ever come across it. Since we still have a bush of sorrel growing, our next meal will have to be the classic French sorrel soup! Stay tuned!
To view or print-out this recipe, click here: Sorrel Pesto from Recipe Source