Simple Sorrel Pesto

Garlic, pumpkin seeds, sorrel and Parmigiano Reggiano create a vibrant, lemony pesto perfect for dabbing into all sorts of foods.

Knee-high sorrel grows like a weed.

Sorrel wasn’t anything I had ever paid attention to, until  I found my cohort, Candace Floyd, on my doorstep with three giant, gangly sorrel plants. Due to the warm winter, she  found herself overrun with spring sorrel and wanted to share.  I planted it, cut it back and, three weeks later, had huge, beautiful sorrel plants with tangles of leaves.

Now, what to do with it? Oddly enough, my son and his friends loved munching on it, but you can only rely on 12-year-old boys to eat so much. My cookbooks had limited recipes beyond sorrel soup and sorrel mayonnaise, and somehow I couldn’t see the kids warming up to either of those. Besides I needed a recipe that used a significant amount.  That’s when I came up with pesto. I’ve used just about any “green” in pesto and figured sorrel would work just as well. I whirled up garlic, roasted pumpkin seeds, sorrel and olive oil in the food processor and stirred in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for a beautiful, creamy pesto. I found sorrel’s acidic tang to work particularly well as pesto tends to be rich with nuts, cheese and olive oil.  I tossed the pesto with pasta and some edamame for a quick dinner. Like Candace, I am now overrun with the lemony, green leaves, which I plan to whirl up to into pesto for use all winter long in soups, chilis, pasta, lasagna and ragouts.

You can use a blender or food processor.

Simple Sorrel Pesto

2 fat garlic cloves
2/3 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
20 sorrel leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Place garlic in food processor, process until minced. Add pumpkin seeds, process until ground. Add sorrel, process. add olive oil and salt and process until creamy. Stir in cheese. Serve with pasta.


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