Wednesday, May 25, 2011

garlicky sorrel'n'cream eggs

so this is sorrel (aka wood sorrel). it kind of looks like clover, but it is very bright and lemony-green-tasting. it's wonderfully sour when you nibble it raw, but when you cook it, it just melts into an army green puddle of yum. it is not necessarily the prettiest, but it is really good.

i bought a big bag of this at the farmers' market because i remembered picking and eating it while on walks as a kid. this particular sorrel was wild, but sometimes people grow it as well. i got it at a great stand that had all kinds of wild things, like different fancy mushrooms, nettles, and sea beans (surprisingly tasty - usually i don't really care for sea vegetables/seaweed, etc).

this dish was inspired by orangette (one of my favorites), who was inspired by a recipe in the new york times. that recipe calls for scallions, which i didn't have, and has you de-stem the sorrel, which, being naturally lazy, i didn't do. i also added pink peppercorns, which are beautiful and delicious.


make sure your sorrel is clean and dry. slice up some garlic - the thinner, the better. for two eggs, i used one small clove, but if i had had any of the green garlic left, you bet i would have used that. but the regular garlic was good, too. cook up the garlic bits over medium heat in however much butter you feel comfortable with. i used a little less than a tablespoon. you want to do this in a smallish pan, but it depends on how many eggs you are using, so use your best judgment. i used my smallest pan, but i was only cooking two eggs.

when the garlic has cooked a bit, but before it browns, add the sorrel. you can cut it up with a knife, but we don't have a dishwasher and i didn't feel like dirtying another cutting board, so i just held it over the pan and used scissors to cut it right into the pan. if you are also not into de-stemming the sorrel, just make sure you get the stems pretty finely cut. the first time i made this, i didn't, and it was still good, but it looked kind of ugly because the leaves really do just melt and then you are left with a pile of stems and it's weird.

once the sorrel cooks down a bit - really, this takes like 15 seconds - add a glug or two of cream. for two eggs, i used less than a quarter of a cup. you could also mix some cream with a little milk or greek yogurt if you don't want to be so unhealthy, but since this is very much an occasional thing, i don't think a little bit of cream will kill you. add salt and pepper to taste - i was out of regular pepper and used some chili flakes.

then make a little hollow for each egg and drop it in. salt and pepper each (pink peppercorn time!) and cover the pan. you might want to turn the heat down slightly - on our stove, which is a stupid electric one, i had it set at 4. this is also the point at which you put your toast in. you will want toast with this, because you need something to sop up the delicious sorrel'n'cream. trust me. you can butter the toast if you want, but after all that butter and cream in the eggs, i refrained. then once the whites of the eggs are set and the yolk is however set you like it (i cooked mine for about 5-6 minutes and the yolks were perfect for my taste - somewhat creamy still, but not too scarily runny), spoon the whole thing over the toast and prepare to be dazzled.

this is quite easy and is really really delicious. the richness of the cream and eggs and the sprightliness of the sorrel play off each other really well and it feels fancy but is totally simple as well. though i really liked the pink peppercorns on it, they are totally not a requirement (and, by the way, are not really peppercorns, but you can delve into that on wikipedia on your own). if you see sorrel at the farmer's market, i think this is a perfect use for it.

*ingredients (for two eggs)*

big handful of sorrel - see top picture
small clove of garlic
a tablespoon-ish of butter
a glug of cream (~1/4 cup)
chili flakes
2 eggs
pink peppercorns, if you've got 'em

i should mention that what i used is wood sorrel, which is similar in taste to other kinds of sorrel (sheep sorrel and cultivated, garden sorrel), but is actually a totally different genus and species. they look nothing alike, which is what was confusing me about this sorrel because i remember picking it wild as a child. that was sheep sorrel. there is a whole thing about them here, if interested.

1 comment:

  1. Glug! is a measurement we should use more often.