Sorrel sauce is a French classic and is the perfect complement to salmon or halibut. However, its lemony-fresh flavor also lends itself as a sauce for eggs benedict and smoked salmon. Substitue the usual rich hollandaise sauce with sorrel sauce to create a memorable brunch dish. When sorrel leaves are shredded and cooked, they wilt and melt into the sauce. Save a few shredded leaves for garnishing.
1/4 pound fresh sorrel
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cubed, skinless, seedless tomato flesh
Salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)
Carefully pick over the sorrel and discard any tough stems or blemished leaves. Rinse the leaves and pat dry. Stack the leaves closely, roll tightly into a bunch and cut them crosswise into very thin strips. (This is called a chiffonade.) There should be about two cups or slightly more when loosely packed.
In a small non-reactive saucepan, heat one tablespoon of the shallots, wine and chopped tomatoes. Bring mixture to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer five minutes. Add the cream and cook about five minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pushing the solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. There should be about 1 1/4 cups.
Heat one tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the remaining one tablespoon of shallots. Cook briefly and add the sorrel. Cook, stirring, until sorrel has wilted. Add the cream mixture, the cubed tomato flesh, salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the sorrel sauce over cooked salmon, halibut or poached eggs on top of English muffins and a slice of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Note: You can also make sorrel sauce without tomatoes, but the tomatoes add a lovely color and subtle flavor.