The bounty of summer is here. On my daily walks around the network of cycle paths near my house, there is a glut of various edible delights. Nettles and elderflowers are particularly abundant at the moment, and there are heaps of bramble bushes that are flowering. I can’t wait until they start bearing fruit in a couple of months time. Last week I went a little further afield to a favourite local wood where I reliably find girolle mushrooms every year. I was a bit too optimistic, as there were not yet any girolles to be found, but I did find sorrel, both the woodland and common variety. Sorrel has a delicate citrus flavour, and is typically served with fish. In the restaurant I used to work in, we only ever used wood sorrel, its tiny and pretty clover-shaped leaves being perfect as a finishing touch for many different dishes. Common sorrel is, although not as pretty to look at, just as nice and citrusy and the leaves can grow to be much larger than its woodland relative. This makes it a better candidate for being a main player in a dish rather than just a passive decoration. The lemony-ness of sorrel goes quite well with tomatoes, to make an excellent summer salad.
This is the easiest recipe ever. I randomly cut the tomatoes, seasoned with sea salt, then made a really simple herb dressing with the sorrel and some oil (using neutral-flavoured sunflower oil instead of olive oil so as not to overpower the delicate flavour of the sorrel), and drizzled it over the tomatoes, finishing with some whole sorrel (both varieties) as decoration.
- 2 large handfuls ripe tomatoes, mixed varieties
- 2 handfuls common sorrel, washed
- 1 small handful wood sorrel, washed
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, or vegetable oil
- sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil
Randomly cut the tomatoes and season them with sea salt. Place on the plates while you work on the dressing.
Set a few small spears of common sorrel aside for garnish, then roughly chop the rest and place in a food processor (or pestle and mortar) with a pinch of sea salt and the sunflower oil. Blend (or smash) until you have a smooth paste. Loosen slighty with a splash of water, then drizzle over the tomatoes. Garnish with the leaves of the wood sorrel and the reserved leaves of common sorrel. Finish with a few drops of olive oil.