ORZOTTO WITH SORREL
This recipe is adapted from a risotto with sorrel that used to be served by Gennaro Contaldo at his restaurant Passione.
1 litre (1½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock stock
2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
225g (8 oz) pearled barley
50g (2 oz) sorrel
50 g (2 oz) butter
25g (1 oz) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the stock in a saucepan with a level teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle simmer, leave over a low heat.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add the finely chopped onion and celery and sweat until soft. Add the pearl barley and stir until each grain is coated with oil. Add a couple of ladlefuls of stock and cook, stirring all the time, until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding ladlefuls of stock until the barley is tender, i.e. soft on the outside but al dente inside, this will take about 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the sorrel, butter and parmesan. Mix well with a wooden spoon to obtain a creamy consistency, taste and adjust the seasoning.
SORREL SAUCE FOR FISH
½ litre strong fish stock
50 g butter
30 g flour
50 ml white wine
250 ml double cream
15 g fresh sorrel, shredded
Heat the fish stock to simmering point. In another pan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook very slowly over a low heat for 30 seconds and then gradually whisk in the fish stock. Pour in the white wine and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the cream and reduce the sauce until it is of a thick pouring consistency. Add the shredded sorrel immediately before serving and season to taste.