I trotted on down to the Farmers’ Market like a good little French housewife last Sunday morning in search of petite bebe turnips and carrots destined for JOOOLIA’s Navarin Printanier that I was making that evening. Clearly, the market is the place to be. Not only did I manage to find the profligate baby vegetables I needed, I also bumped into a good percentage of my address book out hunting for ramps and other early spring goodies.
Joe, a regular denizen of the market, had cased the joint far more thoroughly than I and was all set to throw down our latest challenge to the tune of blood sorrel. Naturally game, I accepted and found myself holding a bag of slightly alien-looking red-veined leaves. Though their appearance suggests small, delicate beet greens, their stridently acidic flavor identifies them very much as sorrel. This lemony bite is due to oaxalic acid–poisonous in large quantities, but harmless in small amounts. Fortunately, I only had about 10 oz of the stuff, so I felt fairly confident that I’d not be able to kill anyone with it.