Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Sorrel

Article Image
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

Sorrel is a perennial herb in the buckwheat family (which also includes rhubarb). High in vitamin C, it was a common ingredient in medieval times, when it was eaten to prevent scurvy (citrus fruits weren’t widely available). The word sorrel is of Germanic origin, from sur, meaning sour. Its characteristic sourness comes from the presence of oxalic acid (which is also found in spinach).

There are two varieties of sorrel, both of which are edible: garden sorrel, which has pointy, arrow-shaped leaves and a bracingly tart flavor, and French sorrel which is milder, with rounded leaves.

Both an herb and a vegetable, sorrel is one of summer’s most versatile greens. Its tart, lemony, almost fruity flavor lends a distinctive note to soups and sauces (much as basil and parsley do), and its delicate, spinach-like texture makes it a great salad green or sautéed side dish. Look for sorrel in farmers’ markets and supermarkets from late April through July, and then add its bright flavor to your summer cooking. The possibilities are plentiful—and delicious.

How to choose:

Choose bunches with smooth, tender, bright green leaves and soft, juicy-looking stems.

How to prep:

Sorrel adds a pleasantly tart note when combined with other greens in salads. Use it in place of parsley or basil for pesto, fold it into omelets, or add it to quiche. Sorrel also makes a delicious side dish for grilled fish or roasted chicken: Briefly sauté it in butter until just wilted (sorrel shrinks like crazy when cooked, so you’ll need a lot) and then sprinkle it with lemon zest and fleur de sel. Take care not to overcook it so it doesn’t lose its leafy texture and herbal aroma. If sorrel’s tang seems too assertive on its own, combine it with more mildly flavored greens like spinach or chard.

Sorrel’s lemony, clean flavor is a natural in creamy soups and in tart sauces for rich fish like salmon and arctic char. It pairs well with sweet ingredients like peas, honey, and fruit as well as with peppery extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs like mint, parsley, basil, and thyme.

How to store:

To store, wrap sorrel in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag for up to three days.

    Recipes

  • Moveable Feast

    Oyster Mushrooms with Sorrel Salsa Verde

    Although oyster mushrooms are included in exotic/wild mushroom medleys, they are some of the most commonly cultivated mushrooms in the world. They come in several colors (grey, white, pink, golden,…

  • Moveable Feast

    Grilled Shrimp, Hibachi-Style with Fruit Salad

    If you can’t find Asian pears or fresh papaya, substitute any firm pear of choice, or use mango. You can also substitute canned pineapple for the fresh.

  • Moveable Feast

    Beer-Steamed Mussels

    When creating this butter sauce, Chef Hayward stressed the importance of restraint when cooking with mussels: “Keep it simple to let them sing.” He used sheep’s sorrel as part of…

  • Recipe

    Chilled Sorrel, Potato, and Leek Soup

    This take on the classic French cream of sorrel soup is packed with bright, lemony flavor. A garnish of sliced sorrel leaves adds an extra dose of tartness.

  • Recipe

    Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup with Sauteed Cauliflower & Fresh Herbs

    I often serve this thick and intense soup with a swirl of herb butter along with the fresh herb garnish. To make this, mix equal parts softened butter and chopped…

  • Recipe

    Herb, Feta & Beet Salad

    This is a composed salad with four parts: beets, feta, herbs, and a very simple vinaigrette. The four elements only meet at the last minute on the plate.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Season 4 Extras

Topping, VA (409)

Pete welcomes us to Virginia on this episode of Moveable Feast, where we meet skilled oystermen Ryan & Travis Croxton, as well as chef Dylan Fultineer. Dylan brings Pete to…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks