The leaves, stems, and flowers of this Redwood Sorrel are all edible raw or cooked and have a tangy lemony flavor. They are a beautiful and unique addition to salads, soups, & rhubarb-type pies. Native American peoples, wild foragers, and sustainable gardeners have and continue to value this plant as food eating it often with dried fish, or as a supplement to other meals.
With this recipe, we've brought some exotic influence into these native edibles - courtesy of our Packing Lead - Dima Tsatskin. First, a little story, and then the recipe below!
For Dima, the "green borscht" was one of the staples growing up in Ukraine. The original borscht is red because it is beet based, and that's the most common one. However, in the summer, when the sorrel is in abundance and the beets are hard to come by, the green borscht is what's popping in the kitchen.
The green borscht, similar to its red sibling, is rich and hardy full of veggies and can be very sour when a lot of sorrel is used. When it is served it can be garnished with a chopped boiled egg and sour cream. I asked him to reach out and see if he could get his moms recipe, which I was in luck! I got the recipe, and I headed out to the woods.
Feeling inspired by our conversation, my dog and I went on our adventure to collect my wild bounty. It was a beautiful crisp January day, yet the cedars and ferns insulated me and warmed me as I walked, on the search for patches of redwood sorrel, which resembles a clover, with 3 heart-shaped leaves and a red stem. Once I found a couple, and developed my trained eye I knew I was on the right track. Soon I found patch after patch. (Whenever wildcrafting it is always good to be mindful and remember to not harvest everything from one area or else it may not grow back for animals or future you to enjoy.)
I went home and began chopping carrots and potatoes to makes the green borscht. I used nodding onion from the nursery as my onion. At the very end, as recommended by Dima, I turned the soup off and threw the sorrel on it with a lid and let it steam for 5 minutes. I then garnished with sour cream, nodding onion, and boiled egg. It was a slightly sour, yet savory dish that complimented each other perfectly. I felt nourished from the soup and nurtured from my walk in the woods. This will definitely become a regular foraged food and meal in my household.
- 2-4 cups fresh Redwood Sorrel (a couple healthy handfuls)
- Onion (We used Nodding Onion)
* If you want can add sour cream and egg at end
-Gather your fresh Redwood Sorrel
- Rinse your Sorrel and set aside
- Chop carrots, potatoes and onions to preferred size (With the Nodding Onion, I removed the roots and used the bulb part in the soup, and used the green part of the onion to garnish at end.)
-Place chopped carrots, potatoes and onions in vegetable stock
-Turn on medium heat for 30 minutes.
-In the meanime, boil eggs if you want to add at end
-When vegetables are cooked to desired consistency, turn soup off and place your Sorrel on top of it with a lid for 5 minutes
-Garnish with sour cream Nodding Onion or chives, and boiled egg