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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

ASPARAGUS TIPS: Try Sorrel in Your Sauce For Fresh, Lemony Flavor

Last weekend was full of incident for me. The cold snap proved too much for my delicate car battery, so it's public transport until I find a battery charger (Why did Stockmann pick this winter to close its friendly automotive section?).

Then a friend, while playing a gentle game of broomball, hit the ice hard and broke his elbow in three places. He managed to be transferred to the Zil hospital (they fix people, not trucks) on Moscow's southern edge.

To add to his misery, he had been fed only buckwheat kasha.

After negotiating the metro, bus system and a few taxis to get to him, the ensuing Sunday visit filled the day admirably.

While walking home, we dropped into the Danilovsky Trading House on Lyusinovskaya Ulitsa. Just inside the door was a stand that wasselling small green bunches of shchavel for 2.50 rubles (about 40 cents). I recognized the leaves instantly -- sorrel!

Sorrel is quite delicious and has a strong, fresh lemony flavor. A little is very good mixed with fresh spinach before cooking (Be warned: When it wilts it turns brown.).

It can be added to homemade hollandaise or mayonnaise; used in sauces and soups; with eggs, fish or meat; and as a salad green.

A low-growing perennial, its leaves are shaped much like small spinach leaves.

Sorrel is the common name for certain plants of the dock genus. It grows to a height of 30 centimeters.

Dock, in turn, is a member of the buckwheat family (see kasha above). It is often found growing wild in pastures in Europe and Australia.

The innovative English chef, Gary Rhodes, has come up with a tasty recipe for poached eggs with green butter.

This makes a great vegetarian starter or a light lunch or supper. The butter melts over the egg and mingles with the lightly poached yolk and the potato base.

Poached Eggs with Green Butter:

150 milliliters dry white wine

4 eggs

Handful of rocket leaves (also known as arugula and generally available from Sadko, Stockmann and Mega Center Italia) or similar, spicy greens

Handful of baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the potato base:

450 grams new potatoes, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

2-3 tablespoons cr?me fra"che (available from Azbuka Vkusa, Stockmann)

For the green butter:

25 grams sorrel leaves, finely shredded

50 grams butter, softened

Fresh lemon juice

Bring a large pan of water to simmer and add the wine.

One at a time, break the eggs into a cup, then gently slip them into the water. Cook for three minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water.

In a pot of boiling salted water cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until tender; drain, peel and mash roughly with a fork.

Stir in the olive oil, lime juice and shallot, and season with salt and pepper. Add the cr?me fra"che and thoroughly mix.

To make the green butter, mash the sorrel with the butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside (but do not chill).

If you have round cookie cutters about the size of the poached eggs, set one on each plate and spoon in the potato, pressing down well. Then lift the mold. If you don't have a mold, form a neat mound of potato on the plate.

Toss the rocket and spinach in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the greens over or around the potatoes. Bring a pan of water to simmer.

Remove the poached eggs from the ice water and cut the edges with scissors or a knife to make them round and neat.

Plunge the eggs into the simmering water for one minute to reheat.

Place the eggs on the potatoes, spoon over the sorrel butter and serve sprinkled with a few grains of sea salt.

Cheryomushkinsky Rynok, corner of Ulitsa Vavilova and Lomonosovsky Prospekt, better served by trams. Nearest metro: Universitet.

Danilovsky Trading House (Torgovy Dom), 70 Lyusinovskaya Ulitsa. Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tel. 237-9973. Nearest metro: Tulskaya.

Danilovsky Rynok, corner of Serpukhovsky Val and Mytnaya Ulitsa. Nearest metro: Tulskaya.

Kalinka-Stockmann, 2 Zatsepsky Val. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to midnight. Tel. 233-2602/231-1924. Nearest metro: Paveletskaya.

Mega Center Italia, 10 Ulitsa Akademika Pilyugina. Tel. 132-3233/0170. Nearest metro: Novye Cheryomushki.

Azbuka Vkusa, 8/18 Valovaya Ulitsa (the Garden Ring). Open 24 hours a day. Tel. 233-1339. Nearest metro: Paveletskaya.