French Sorrel…are you a food snob?

More times than I like to think about, I have been accused of being a food snob. Most often the nasty quip comes from a person who spends their grocery money in the ‘dump and microwave’ aisle.

I am not a food snob. I am a food disciple. I honor food that is whole and real. What is exotic to Canadians is comfort food to Italians, the French, Germans, Asians… Many of our high-end ethnic restaurants are preparing simple, rustic family style food from whatever country they specialize in. Of course every country has complicated, traditional cookery but those dishes are usually only prepared during religious feasts and holidays. So when I say that I am preparing fish with sorrel cream for lunch it may sound chic but, in reality, the dish requires very few ingredients and is on the table in 20 minutes.

I would suggest that people who find pleasure in slamming food and foodies should pause and consider that most amazing recipes have been created in home kitchens all over the world. Home cooks using local ingredients with simple techniques creating brilliance. No pretence to glamour; simply respecting the palate and the pocket-book.

Because a dish originates in another country is not a reason to fear it. Food is no different from music, design, art, dance or literature. All of the things that bring beauty to our lives are created the world over. Embrace all food with enthusiasm, not criticism, and you will open a world of culinary opportunity unimaginable.

Kaitie and Dan were home this weekend. They love fish so I usually try to fit one meal from the sea into their visit. Last summer, I planted french sorrel in my perennial garden and it has come back with a vengeance. French sorrel has a very fresh and sour taste so it is the perfect accompaniment to cream for fish…particularly salmon. Visually the soft peachy pink of the fish is beautiful with the green flecked white of the sorrel cream sauce. Sadly, you’ll have to take my word for it because my photograph was completely out of focus!

SALMON WITH FRENCH SORREL CREAM

serves 4

preheat oven 350*F

1 – 16 ounce salmon fillet, skin on

Place salmon on a parchment lined baking sheet and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place salmon in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

1/2 cup French sorrel, chopped and tightly packed

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup whipping cream

Place wine, shallot and sorrel in sauce pan over medium heat and cook until sorrel is wilted.

Add cream and simmer until sauce has thickened…stir often.

To serve, divide fish into four equal portions and drizzle cream on one side.

This dish is gorgeous served with boiled new potatoes or steamed asparagus…simple and clean!

Thanks for reading.

  • Heidi Eaton

    I would like a recipe for the Seared Scallops with Pistacio Coconut Cream!…could you forward it to me?

  • Susie K

    I just discovered your blog and love your sentiments about cooking! I have a question about using sorrel. Is there a green that is close to sorrel that I could use to substitute in the recipe in case I can’t find any before I plant my own? My husband recently came back from a fishing trip in Alaska and brought home some wonderful salmon. I am looking for unique recipes to use and am intrigued with the cream sorrel version.

    • Hi Susie, Delighted that you found me! Sorrel has a uniquely sour taste that would be hard to find a substitute for. However, your salmon needs to be celebrated. If I was cooking it, I would grill it and give it nothing more than a squeeze of lemon!