Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cold Summer Salad: Spicy Barley and Sorrel

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? 


Sorrel


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. 


Sorrel soup

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?


See you,
Marina

24 comments:

  1. who hoo for small victories! Looks really good, and thanks for the lesson on sorrel :)

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    1. Thanks Jane! I think you would like sorrel too, if you haven't tried it already...:)

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  2. That looks lovely! We just tried some sheeps' sorrel the other day too! I liked the flavour to it. It reminded me of the skins of really green grapes :)

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    1. Green grapes and a very young grape leaves too. I love the flavor of sorrel and how it makes food taste so fresh. :)

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  3. I love sorrel and this looks brilliant. I've only ever had sorrel in a restaurant; am yet to find some to cook with myself!

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    1. How interesting, I have never had anything in restaurant with sorrel. I would like to go to that restaurant you've been to to try it. :)

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  4. Oh Yum! I have never eaten sorrel at all but this looks fabulous. I really love barley.

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    1. If you like lemony flavor you would like sorrel too. :)

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  5. barley is so healthy and refreshing. A lovely summery salad.

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    1. Thanks Alida! Barley is such a great food but we don't eat it as much. I am making grain salads all summer long, that's a food! :)

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  6. This looks crunchy and delicious! Perfect for a hot summer day!

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline! Crunchy indeed, even though it is made with barley...:)

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  7. I love that I learn something new everyday! I love the fact that you create wonderful healthy dishes which inspires me. Thanks Marina! Have a lovely weekend!

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  8. I can see why they wanted more - it looks wonderful and what a great idea to grow your own sorrel! You're so smart!

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    1. Thanks Chris! You are so sweet! :)

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  9. I don't think I've ever tasted sorrel, and now I know why! Your salad looks so healthy and wonderful!

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    1. Thank you Lizzy! Sorrel tastes great, I am sure you would love it too when you try. :)

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  10. I used to grow it in my garden before we moved and I haven't had sorrel since. I used very young leaves in salads and I made a lovely sorrel pesto too.

    I love this salad!

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    1. Thank you Maureen! Sorrel pesto is delicious, I make it sometimes with walnuts. :)

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  11. I have never tried sorrel but this recipe looks so refreshing. Any suggestions for substitutions as you know I am living in Hong kong so may not have this?

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    1. When I didn't have sorrel I used spinach and lemon juice, not the same but that's what we do when sorrel is not available. Thanks for visiting me here! :)

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  12. I've had sorrel soup, but have never cooked with sorrel. As you say, you virtually never see it in supermarkets, and only occasionally at farmer's markets. Really nice looking salad - and you've convinced me I need to start growing my own sorrel. Of course we have a major rabbit problem (really many of them this year for some reason) so I'll have a bunch of "negotiating" to do! Thanks for this.

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    1. Thanks John. Yes, we have the same rabbit problem, we used chicken wire around my herb section to keep rabbits and other creatures away. So far it works. :)

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Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.