Creamed Sorrel with Lentils on Toast
Whew, I don’t know about you guys, but I need a weekend to make up for my solo weekend (G was out of town in Nola for a boys’ weekend)–so much to write about and so little time. Let’s just say the weekend involved a trip to Saxapahaw, NC to see Archers of Loaf, lots of yummy eats and fun exploration of Durham, a cupcake making party, a birthday party, and hours of work on the garden (everything’s planted and poly tunnels erected!). Amazing and exhausting, no? Look for garden updates and a Saxapahaw/Durham recap later this week.
But for now, it’s my R&R evening before G gets home–wine, catching up on the first two stages of the Tour of California, and Creamed Sorrel with Lentils on Toast. Could there be anything better? (Oh, and the wine is totally a bottle of Lucky Duck Chardonnay, the Walmart brand you can pick up for $3 and some change–I’m not ashamed!)
Sorrel, oh, how do I begin to explain it? I’ve only (to my knowledge) tried it once, in Atlanta at Restaurant Euguene, and as a sorbet to boot. Since then I’ve looked for it at the local farmers markets in Roanoke and at our grocery stores, but I haven’t ever found any. Even restaurants here seem not to feature it all too often, a shame I’m realizing after my brief foray into cooking it tonight.
I picked up a very small bunch of it Durham at the Durham Farmers Market (such a lovely little market, can’t wait to share pictures!) and, after a bit of searching online yesterday, settled on the idea of veganizing Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Creamed Sorrel on Toast, a few beluga lentils sprinkled on for texture and protein. The result was stunning–for one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever thrown together, the flavors are explosive. Sorrel is so bright and lemony and green and fresh, it’s almost impossible to explain how much like late spring it tastes. I can see why so many French recipes incorporate it–a little would go a long way in a more complex recipe, but creamed on toast it’s the star of the show, comfort food at it’s finest, which I’m more than happy about given how grey and rainy it’s been today.
My toast is the recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef which, for the record, I haven’t tried to veganize yet, and, again, I’ll be honest, I added a poached egg on top of the toast. My first poached egg! The toast doesn’t need the egg at all to complete it, it was just a fun experiment for me, to see if I could actually poach an egg. I’m really quite proud of myself. But sans egg, you can’t go wrong–toast, sorrel, lentils. That’s it. Easy, simple, real. And so, so good.
Creamed Sorrel with Lentils on Toast
Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
1/4 c beluga lentils
10 market/garden-fresh sorrel leaves
1/2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp coconut milk
2 pieces of bread (gluten-free or regular)
In a medium-sized pot, add the lentils and cover with vegetable (2 inches of water above lentils). Bring to a boil and cook, at a medium boil, for 10-15 minutes, until tender (I like mine to have a bit of a bite). Add salt to taste. If there’s any excess water, drain, and set the lentils aside.
Meanwhile, chop the stems off the sorrel and roll the leaves into cigarillos. Slice into ribbons.
Toast the bread.
In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the sorrel and cook until just wilted. Add the cream, 1 tbsp at a time, and let wilt completely. Cook until it’s saucy and slightly thickened. Add a pinch of salt and sugar, remove from heat.
Spread the creamed sorrel on the toast and sprinkle as many lentils on top as you like. Serve with a nice glass of chilled white wine.