In the last few months, prompted by the fact that I wanted to try some of the Franchi seeds we sell, I’ve started growing herbs and vegetables. We don’t have much space in our garden so I have a selection of plants in pots. Amongst them are sorrel, chervil and French tarragon in pots. The sorrel has been the winner so far as it’s growing really quickly. It’s a perennial with large spinach like leaves which you need to keep picking regularly. Sorrel is tangy and lemony and a perfect accompaniment to fish. Peter, one of our Saturday stallholders always has some sorrel plants to sell as well as many other herbs. For this recipe you can use any favourite white fish. I usually cook whatever Jimmy has fresh on Saturday morning. Last week I tried skate wings and prior to that, gurnard. Both were delicious. Poached salmon would also be great. The sauce is basically a fish ‘velouté’ with the addition of finely chopped sorrel. A velouté starts the same as bechamel but instead of adding milk you add stock. Here I’m using fish stock but if it’s to go with chicken I use chicken stock.
Start the sauce first. This is enough for 2-3 people.
Melt a tbsp of butter in a small pot. Stir in a tbsp of plain flour. Let it cook for a minute to release the gluten so the sauce thickens. Gradually stir in the stock making sure here are no lumps. Go slowly and decide how thick you want the sauce to be. Then set it aside. Cook the fish your favourite way e.g. panfry. While the fish is cooking, wash the sorrel leaves, stack them on top of each other and then roll them up tightly so they look like a cigar. Slice the sorrel very finely. Put the sauce back on the heat, add a dash of cream (optional), salt and pepper and finally the shredded sorrel. Stir and let the sauce bubble gently for a minute.
Put the fish on each plate and top with the sauce. Serve with boiled baby potatoes, rice or Ebly.
Instead of sorrel you could also use chervil or French tarragon.