Sorrel and Summer Squash Salad
Sorrel is an abundant spring and summer green also known as “lemon lettuce.” And for good reason- the leaves have a distinctly pungent, citrusy taste. It’s a great source of vitamins A and C, and adds kick to dishes both raw and cooked. Look for it at all the State College markets- the sorrel used in the picture above came from Jade Family Farms, but other vendors have it too. Just ask around! In this recipe it’s cooked quickly along with summer squash, tomato, and chickpeas and served in an Indian-inspired yogurt sauce. It’s great served warm, and wonderfully refreshing served cold.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 small zucchini or other summer squash
3 green onion bulbs with about 3 inches of stem
1 large tomato
2 cups sorrel leaves, stems removed
1 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (if you want to use canned, use 1 can or 2 cups, and let them sit in a bowl in the fridge for a few hours with the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. It won’t be quite the same, but it will be close)
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
3 Tbsp olive oil (enough to liberally coat the bottom of a large pan)
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Soak the dried chickpeas overnight or for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse, then put in a large pot with plenty of water, the bay leaf, and the cinnamon stick. Do not salt the water- this will inhibit the peas from softening. Bring to a low boil and maintain for 90 minutes to two hours. Drain and rinse, removing and discarding the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Dice the squash into roughly 1/2 inch cubes, and chop the onion. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and then dump in the cumin and coriander. Fry for about 30 seconds-1 minute, or until the spices begin to smell fragrant. Add the squash and onion to the pan and fry until the squash is softening and browning around the edges. Don’t stir much- the more you simply let the squash sit in the oil, the better the browning, which is what creates a lot of the flavor. Add the salt and pepper to your own taste.
While the squash cooks, prepare the sorrel and tomato. Rinse the sorrel well and tear it roughly into smaller pieces. Core the tomato and chop it into 1-inch pieces. When the squash is cooked, add the lemon juice and cook a little while longer, then remove from heat. Stir in the sorrel and the tomato, letting the heat wilt the sorrel, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Pour the chickpeas and the squash mixture into the same serving bowl, and then add the yogurt. Mix well and serve, or chill and serve later.