Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Steerike Three!

Well - the soup and beet stacks plated up beautifully - wouldn't you agree?

I thought the soup was great - really fresh, light, a nice way to start a meal without being too filling. A beautiful color, something to please the eye as well as the palate.

My husband was less enthusiastic. He is just not a chilled soup fan as it happens. (He did like the bacon on top.) And when it came to the beet stacks - another swing and a miss. My husband likes roasted beets. He likes herbed goat cheese. Somehow though, he didn't like the end effect of having the two together, snuggled in a blanket of fresh sorrel. Go figure.

I thought the blend of the tangy creamy cheese, the sweetness of the beet, and the fresh slightly lemony taste of the sorrel leaf all worked together pretty brilliantly. It was a great finger food. The toothpick holds it together neatly for that first grab off the plate, then the leaf on the outside means you can safely hold it snugly in your fingers to daintily take two bites without getting your hands messy. This would be a great appetizer for a party. Easy to put together, pretty quickly assembled once you get the beets roasted and cut. Great potential color combinations. I could see how a platter of these stacks made with different colored beets could yield a pretty snappy looking tray.

But the soup...I had some left over. I wanted to try once more (with feeling!)...

So today for lunch I heated up some of the remaining sorrel/leek/pea soup. I threw more bacon on top and this time a little grated Gruyere for additional garnish on top. My husband liked it "better" warmed, but is still not a sorrel fan.

One thing I learned. When making a soup that will be served chilled, it is important to recheck the seasoning before serving. Once the soup chilled, it lost some of the layers of flavor I noted when it was hot out of the blender. So a chilled soup will perhaps require more seasoning than a hot one. The taste is simply more pronounced when heated it seemed.I regret to say, "rumex scutatus", "French Sorrel", will not take a place in the pantheon of family favorites. I feel quite certain that IF my husband was going to like it, he would have liked it one of the three ways I've tried so far. I will keep checking for recipes - I am nothing if not stubborn - but once cut, sorrel doesn't stay workable very long, even in the refrigerator. I feel fairly certain if I don't find some other "can't miss" recipe this afternoon, the last bit of the remaining sorrel will be heading out back to the compost bin.

If I had grown this sorrel from seed I'd have a hard time letting this go. Even if I'd only researched recipes and then bought some at the store, I'd probably feel somewhat personally offended that it was poorly received. Since it just randomly appeared in our CSA basket, and I know I did my dead level best to find the "most likely to be liked" presentation? I can be much more detached, philosophical even, about the entire failur, er, process. One last note. With dinner, I had a glass of a delightful Portugese white, the Santola Vinho Verde. Inexpensive, less than $8 a bottle locally, slightly effervescent and nicely balanced for warm weather eating especially. Try a bottle out - with or without sorrel - you won't regret it. And if you like the white, do try out the rosé.

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