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Battling Spiders and Making Sorrel Pesto in Australia

It was a sunshiny morning in Australia when I decided to go for a walk. All my dear Aussie friends were at work so it was just me and the dogs: Whombat and Fletcher.

I donned my favorite polka-dot rubber boots and off we went to explore the countryside and see what we could see.

Birds were singing madly as I nibbled some grapes I found growing higgledy-piggledy along the fence. I grinned at the profusion of wildflowers everywhere I looked. They clustered around fence posts, dotted the grass, and blossomed in great purple swaths through the fields.

Eventually our walk led me back to “my garden.” If you haven’t already, I’d love you to read the story of how this garden came to be. You can read all about the kindness of my dear Aussie friends here: An Australian Herb Garden.

I’d been letting it run wild the first couple of weeks what with all the rain and flooding, so I had to battle spiders that had taken up residence in my absence. I must’ve been quite the sight flailing my broom around at the spider webs and hollering loudly when I felt something brush my hair or land on my arm. Yipes!!

At last the garden was spider-free and I puttered at my leisure, finding out what was growing (everything) and what needed weeding (everything). So I started with picking big bowls of sorrel leaves, nasturtium blossoms, and mint.

I’d never cooked with sorrel in my life, didn’t even know what it was until I got to Oz. My only association with it was from the old movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” when Millie gets her new husband to stop the wagon for her to pick sorrel for their dinner.

So I asked my friends Ann and Janyne for ideas. They had plenty! Salads, sandwiches, and, my favorite idea of all, sorrel pesto.

I hauled out the food processor and washed, dried, chopped and pureed my way to a bowl of sorrel pesto. Mmm, mmm!! Lemony and light with just a hint of earthy greenness, it works beautifully tossed with pasta or spread on a toasted sandwich with tomato and creamy goat cheese.

Have you ever cooked with sorrel before?

Sorrel Pesto

2 big handfuls fresh sorrel
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/3 cup good olive oil


  1. Rinse sorrel well then pat dry.
  2. Remove ribs and chop coarsely.
  3. In food processor combine sorrel with remaining ingredients and puree until it reaches desired consistency. (I like mine coarse rather than smooth like paste)
  4. Keeps for 2 weeks in fridge.
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Duchess - I have used sorrel, its great in soup!

Krista - Oh how fun, Nicole!! I’d love to find a you-pick-farm. Now you’ve got me curious and I have to search one out. 🙂

Krista - Oh man, Anna! That sandwich sounds amazing. Can’t wait to get back to my Oz garden so I can try it out myself! 🙂

Nicole - I came across sorrel at a you-pick farm and the farmer suggested adding it to salads, which we did. It was so lemony! But sorrel pesto sounds like a perfect use!

Anna Johnston - Yes I have, although I’ve never tasted sorrel pesto, must do that but sorrel on a fresh garden salad sandwich is the business 🙂

Krista - Me too, Andi! I’m so homesick for Oz and my Aussies.

Krista - Oh, thank you, Tuula! 🙂 There was so much of it I had to do SOMETHING, and pesto used up a lot. 🙂 I’m SO glad you like the updates! It’s been a heap of work but I like it too. You inspired me with all your lovely changes. 🙂

Krista - I do too, Katie!! I’ll be looking to see what you do with it. 🙂

Anonymous - Hi Krista, I hope your Grandpa is ok, and you are too. Stay strong. Lots of love

Andi Perullo - Oh you have made me miss Oz sooo badly with this post!

Tuula Mattson - Wow, how interesting Krista, never have cooked with sorrel before – you are always so creative 🙂 Very impressive to say the least! Lovely photos as always & your blog is looking GREAT by the way, love all of the updates!!

Katie@Cozydelicious - I don’t think I’ve ever had sorrel. I must find some! I do love a new green to play with!

Krista - Thank you, sweetlife! 🙂 It was unusual but good and lemony. 🙂

Krista - Oh that’s great, Jenny!! If my garden in Oz is any guide, a lot of sunshine does wonders to help it thrive. 🙂

Sweetlifebake - I have never tried sorrel, but your pesto looks maazing..thanks for sharing, perfect pics as always!!


Jenny - Never cooked with sorrel but I”m hoping to have my first attempt at it soon. I started two small sorrel plants from seed and just set them out in my herb garden. They aren’t coming along as well as I had hoped, so we’ll see. I will definitely keep this recipe in mind.

Krista - It was scrumptious, Rosa. So spring-ish. 🙂 Yeah, the ones in Oz scare me. 🙂 I was told: “If you can see them, you have nothing to worry about. It’s the ones you can’t see…” Heavens. 🙂

Krista - I am too, Christy! Eeesh, they give me the shivers and I can “feel” them even when they aren’t there. You’re right though, the fresh food is WELL worth it. 🙂

Krista - Oh wild garlic leaves would be amazing in pesto, Jacqueline! I will love to try that one day. 🙂

Krista - I’m with YOU, Barbara! Yeesh. 🙂

Rosa May - That pesto is very original! I love spiders, but I’m not sure I’d love the ones that are in Australia.



Jacqueline Brown - What a lovely idea – we have sorrel growing in our orchard. I love pesto and make it with wild garlic leaves, rocket or basil depending on what we have the most of! I can now add sorrel too, thanks.

Christy @ Ordinary Traveler - I’m so afraid of spiders, but sometimes you have to live with them if you want to enjoy nature. I’m looking forward to planting our garden this year. Fresh food is the best!

barbara - Oooh spiders, I refuse to eat in our garden in summer when the spiders are about. We seem to have so many this year. Perhaps because of the floods.

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