Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sorrel tarragon frittata

I went to the Slow Food Miami Lebanese Feast last night, but it was, let's say, problematic, so let's talk about the meal I threw together when I got home instead, OK?

I knew I wanted to use the sorrel complete, but I was concerned that the leaves would cook down and I'd end up with a pan full of stems as I have too many times with other greens. Running it through the food processor with a little olive oil and salt seemed a good plan. I originally planned to just chop things up a bit, but went a little overboard and ended up with a sorrel paste, but I could make that work.

After tasting the sorrel, I gathered a few more ingredients that I thought would go well with it: thinly sliced onion and bell pepper, roughly chopped green olives and a handful of tarragon. I briefly considered making this a pesto-esque pasta sauce, but went with eggs instead.

Once I had the ingredients together, I kept the preparation pretty simple. I sweated the onion and pepper until soft, added the sorrel and olives and cooked out some excess moisture. Once I was happy with a fairly firm texture that wasn't releasing much liquid, I poured it out into a bowl and mixed in a little frozen butter to cool it down rapidly so I could add three beaten eggs, the taragon and a little salt and pepper without starting to cook the eggs.

I left the pan on the heat, hoping to get it hot enough to get a Spanish tortilla style puff out of the eggs, but it didn't work. That's why I'm calling it a frittata instead even though I didn't finish it off in the oven. Maybe it's just an omelet?

Whatever it was, it turned out surprising well given its improvisatory nature. I was afraid the sorrel would be a bit harsh, as some greens can get when you treat them this roughly, but it kept its light citrusy herbal flavor. It blended well with the tarragon and countered the savory egg and mild olive tanginess and gave a pleasantly complex play of understated flavors over the course of each bite.

Not the most visually attractive dish, I'll admit. The red sorrel is at least partially to blame for that, I think. Imagine a spring of parsley on top and I think it's presentable.

The texture was light and buttery, just barely holding together, with a little chew from the onion and peppers and crunch from the olive-bread toast I served it on. Add a minerally dry white wine to cut the richness and it was a lovely late dinner.

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