Wednesday, May 30, 2012
May Harvest: Herbs, Chives, Live Freshness
French Sorrel is a perennial herb, very cold hardy. It expects fair amount of water, and no doubt, it will spread in some situations though is easy contained in semi-arid climate to a cultivated (watered) spot. It likes some coolness as well, as it will bolt otherwise. Leaves are sour, almost stingy in their strong taste that becomes most pleasant in sorrel soup. The soup is summer delight - served cold, with crumbles of cooked egg, and some home-made yogurt - another complete permaculture meal at our farm (i.e. we can produce all ingredients). Recipe is as follows: Boil some water (or use frozen stock) and cook one or two quartered potatoes. Add fresh onion, chopped and sauteed, and a large bowl of clean sorrel leaves, chopped if you wish. Sorrel will shrink to a very small volume so don't worry about overdoing it. Cook for a few more minutes. Chill and serve. A sprinkle of cheese, sourcream, yogurt, or garlic chive flowers will add to the flavors.
Sorrel cooked by itself can be frozen in glass for use later in season, as soup starter.
Lamb's Quarters is a weedy kind of annual, there are wild and cultivated varieties - the latter have much larger and thicker leaves, easier to harvest. The plant reseeds itself, a valuable (though annoying) quality - depends on where it comes up in the garden, it is either a bother or a gift!
It's other name is Poor Man's Spinach, it grows so well and so tall, and is so productive that it deserves the name of Rich Man's Spinach instead. Not so good frozen, it can be admired all summer long with sauteed veggies, though it is overproductive, that it makes good chicken and goat feed supplement! You get a handfull of leaves for dinner and the rest is enjoyed by the poultry. Not bad.