Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A salad with bite

For years, I'd seen French sorrel (Rumex) in the herb books but never bothered to try growing it until a few years ago. It's not the most attractive plant, but the tiny seedling I plopped in place then came up early and strong this year. It had to be used. While there are recipes for sauces and soups (none of which I've attempted so far), I've taken a liking to using the leaves in salads. The tangy, citrus flavor adds some nice bite to the more mellow lettuce. Just pick a few leaves, wash, tear into bite-size pieces and toss with the other greens in your salad. My sorrel is thriving in a sunny spot in the herb garden; I even spotted some seedling progeny when I was weeding there the other day. But happy though it may be in its current location, I think a move to another, less visible spot may be in order.

Meanwhile, its cousin bloody dock (Rumex sanguineus) is making a return appearance in the front bed but didn't survive the winter in the courtyard berm. Go figure. I love the foliage on this plant, but it's not recommended for eating. I love the name even more: "bloody dock!" It's a nice substitute for cursing.

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