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REC: Sorrel Tart. This has only a few ingredients but a very complex flavor. I've been baking it

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Posted to Thread #10901 at 10:44 pm on Jun 2, 2008

often for parties lately, because sorrel is taking over my garden.

SORREL TART
<i>Tarte à l’Oseille</i>

from <i>Simple French Food</i> by Richard Olney. Serves 4 to 6.


10 oz. sweet onions, halved, finely sliced
Salt
¼ cup butter
10 oz. sorrel, stems pulled off backwards, washed in several waters, drained
1½ cups heavy cream
3 eggs
Pepper
1 half-baked 9-inch pastry shell


Stew the onions, salted, in half the butter for at least ½ hour, covered, stirring or tossing regularly. The saucepan should be heavy and not so large as to impose a depth of less than 1 to 1½ inches on the layer of onions—they should sweat as much in their own humidity as in the butter, and, finally, should be translucid, uncolored, and melting on the verge of a purée.

Meanwhile, plunge the sorrel into salted boiling water and drain the moment the water returns to a boil and all the leaves have turned grayish. Put to stew gently in half the butter, stirring occasionally, until excess liquid has evaporated and the leaves have fallen into a complete purée, about 20 minutes.

Mix together the sorrel and the onions in a bowl and let cool to tepid. Whisk the cream, eggs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and pour the mixture slowly into the onions and sorrel, stirring all the while. Pour into the pastry shell and bake in a 375ºF oven for about 40 minutes, or until swelled, firm in the center, and lightly colored. Serve warm 20 minutes to ½ hour after removing from the oven.

A well-chilled, young, light dry wine with a suspicion of sparkle or a light-bodied Champagne are perfect companions.

[Notes: I make this often and people always wonder what’s in it. It really brings our sorrel’s complex flavor, and the sweetness of the onions counters the sorrel’s tartness. I’ve read that Alice Waters served a variation of this very recipe at Chez Panisse; no crust--the filling was strained and baked in ramekins as a savory custard.

The tart can be made a day or two ahead or frozen. Cut into wedges while cold, then reheat on a baking sheet in a 375º or 400ºF oven. Let cool a bit and serve warm. Very thin wedges, twelfths or sixteenths, are nice finger food for a cocktail party.

Sorrel is very easy to grow. You can blanch it ahead of time and freeze it in portions for this tart or for soup.]


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