My coworker E and I have a wonderfully reciprocal relationship. We trade produce, health tips, and knowledge about various things. Most of the time I feel like I get the better end of the bargain - she is incredibly generous and knowledgeable, and I have a hard time keeping up! The other day she brought me a bunch of lovely sorrel leaves from her garden. I was thrilled! I'm growing it in my garden, but it hasn't quite gotten large enough to harvest yet.
If you aren't familiar with sorrel, it is a perennial herb with a tart, sour, almost lemony flavor. The flavor is due to the high amount of oxalic acid present in the leaves. If you are particularly sensitive to oxalates, you may want to steer clear of sorrel. In large quantities, everyone should be careful - too much sorrel can be toxic! But a small amount here and there won't harm you. So, if you can handle oxalates, find sorrel immediately, because it is delicious. It is used all over the world in various dishes from soups to salads to meat dishes. It is delicious with butter over fish. Because it has a tart, sour, lemony flavor, it like adding it to slaws and salads for an acidic bite. Minneapolis is in the midst of a heat wave, and I am craving raw vegetables non-stop, so I used some of my gifted sorrel for a tasty slaw.
This slaw is crunchy, spicy, sweet, and salty, just the way I like it. It's quick to prepare, and pretty too (especially served in my new purple lacquered bamboo bowl). I think you'll like it. Served with baked salmon, it was the perfect light dinner for a hot day. I'm glad I kept the kitchen cool and my dinner light because once it cooled down outside, I heated up my kitchen and weighed down my system with some experimental double chocolate chip cookies I'm working on. Hint: they involve soaked dry beans and a little bit of magic. I'll be delivering some of these freshly baked little gems to my loyal testers later today...
But before we eat cookies, we must eat our vegetables. So here's some slaw!
Cabbage Slaw with Sorrel and Sesame
yield 4 side servings or 2-3 main course servings
1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, grated
2 scallions, finely sliced
6 sorrel leaves, sliced in a thin chiffonade
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (if raw, use untoasted)
a couple pinches red pepper flakes
umeboshi plum vinegar
optional: handful toasted cashews, chopped (if raw, use untoasted cashews)
Prepare vegetables as directed and toss together in a bowl, reserving some of the scallion for garnish. Drizzle a glug of olive oil, a little splash of sesame oil, about 1-2 tsp of umeboshi plum vinegar over the slaw and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chili flakes, and adjust quantity of oil/ume vinegar to taste, and toss it all together one more time. Sprikle with remaining scallions, a few more sesame seeds and chili flakes, and serve. Easy!