Every year, I look forward to spring just so I can make this dish. The main ingredients are sorrel and nettle. The sorrel gives a really nice, pleasant lemony, savory flavor and the nettles add the substance, texture and protein to the dish. It is a simple recipe to make, the hardest part is really to find the sorrel and the nettles. Our ancestors regularly ate them in the spring but today unfortunatelly they are seldom available in stores. My recipe is based on the Hungarian sorrel stew recipe (sóska fözelék) with the addition of the nettles. Years ago, I could not find any recipes that had nettles so I decided to experiment. In my opinion, the results are fantastic.
Before I post the recipe, I would like to talk about nettles and sorrel. Nettle is like the super food of the US and Europe. When I think of Nettles, two things come to my mind: nutritive tonic and the kidneys/water element. It is very high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and makes a nutritious food for sure. Just to demonstrate its high protein content, Nettles have 40-45 grams of protein compared to beef that has 20 grams. It is rich in iron, silica and potassium. It also supplies vital energy to the kidneys that can be helpful for everybody but especially during pregnancy, menopausal years and old age. In general, it is safe to include in the diet and should be consumed during the spring months. Just make sure you get the leaves before the plants start flowering.
With its sharp, tangy taste, sorrel adds zest to dishes. However, it is not just added for its flavor but it is also a nutritious goodness. Sorrel is a green leafy vegetable with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamin C and a fair amount of fiber. Polyphenolic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanins are the beneficial organic compounds in sorrel. No wonder our ancestors frequently included it in their diet. It aids digestion, improves energy and circulation, boosts immunity, heart and vascular health, improves kidney health, builds strong bones, improves eye sight, and one’s overall functional health.
- 1 lb of washed sorrel or you can use spinach too but the dish will taste differently. You might have to grow it or go to the farmers’ market.
- 1/4-1/2 lb of washed nettles (the nettles should be fresh and stingy but they will not hurt your mouth after you cook them). You might have to have it in your backyard or try the farmers’ market.
- vegetable oil (I like sunflower)
- 2 strips of longer bacon (optional)
- 1 onion finally chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of Hungarian paprika (powder)
- about 1/2 cup of water, vegetable or meat stock (preferably home-made)
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- freshly ground pepper
- Saute the onions in some oil until translucent and can smell the wonderful aroma of the onion.
- If desired add bacon and fry until crisp.
- Keeping the oil warm add the paprika and the garlic, mix for 30 seconds and add cold water or stock.
- Add sorrel and nettles.
- Bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes.
- When done, take off heat and let the dish cool off.
- Chop the vegetables in a food processor. Here you are trying to create a sauce with a little texture.
- Add salt and sour cream, black pepper.
- Serve on mashed potatoes along with fried eggs or hard boiled eggs.
enjoy! Jó étvágyat!
- Paul Pitchford: Healing with Whole Foods
- Matthew Wood: The Earthwise Herbal