|Spicy Barley and Sorrel Salad|
Why sorrel, a culinary herb with lemony flavor and delightful green leaves, a common ingredient in salads, soups, stews, and even sauces for hundreds of years, vanished from many kitchens?
It rarely appears in US markets as it must be used immediately after harvest (shelf life of sorrel is 2-3 days), hence to have a reliable supply of sorrel I grow my own.
|Sorrel and parsley from my garden|
Europeans grow and use sorrel as an herb and for medicinal use. As medicinal remedy sorrel was highly valued for centuries for it's ability to prevent scurvy due to high level of vitamin C. It also has vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
However, people with rheumatism, kidney and bladder stones should eat a small amount of sorrel, as oxalic acid can exasperate these conditions.
I start cooking with sorrel when the first young light-green tender leaves appear in the garden, and use it in my cooking until frost damages leaves in late fall.
I am not the only one who enjoys sorrel as a meal: rabbits love to nibble on young leaves too. We "negotiated" with rabbits by building a net fence around the herb garden, and whatever grows beyond the net, rabbits can have.
|Dicing instrument is a workhorse when it comes to chopping|
Spicy Barley and Sorrel Salad
Cook 1 cup pearled barley according to instruction (usually 1 cup barley is boiled in 4 cups water for 40 minutes), drain the excess water and refrigerate.
Now, it's dicing time: one bell pepper, 5-6 cucumbers, 2-3 tomatoes.
Combine all diced ingredients with chilled barley, squeeze one lemon in it, a teaspoon olive oil (optional), add 4-5 chopped parsley sprigs, and a handful of sorrel chiffonade (stack the leaves, roll tightly, and cut across into thin ribbons).
Mix well, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours for all flavor to bland. Serve with a few slices of chili pepper.
|Barley and sorrel salad (not spicy yet)|
This salad was a gamble with my men: Mr. I.V. doesn't like barley, except in this meal, and teenager has his very own view on what is food. My job is to blend something healthy in what they eat. We negotiated to have a salad before each meal, and here my creativity is put to the test. I was pleasantly surprised when they both asked for more. Today it was my little victory!
What is your favorite meal with sorrel?