Sorrel

Sorrel is easily grown and its fresh lemony flavour is very versatile in dishes such as salads, soups and frittatas. Three species are commonly grown for culinary purposes. Broad leaf varieties are a perennial forming a basal rosette of leaves up to 15cm long. In early summer the slender flowering stems, to about 1.2m produce spikes of tiny reddish flowers, followed by hard nutlets. The French variety has smaller ovate to hastate leaves, tiny green flowers and grows to about 30cm. Sheep’s sorrel has large succulent leaves and is used for classic sorrel soup and to produce blue and green dyes.

This herb requires a rich, moist soil and a sunny to partly shaded position. Sow seeds in situ when the soil has warmed in spring, or start it indoors and transplant it. Seeds germinate within 14 days. Thin plants to 30cm apart. Regularly trim the plants to keep up the supply of fresh, tender young leaves. Remove the flowering heads whenever they appear.

Pick the leaves fresh throughout the growing season. It does not dry well but, like spinach, it can be frozen. This spinach like leaf is quite delicious if picked when young and tender. Cook it briefly to retain the flavour. Do not use aluminium or iron pots or utensils as they will make the sorrel go black and cause a disagreeable metallic taste. If using raw, select the young, tender leaves. A purée of cooked sorrel is a good accompaniment to fish, eggs, pork and veal. Sorrel’s acidity also acts as a meat tenderizer. Sorrel sauce is a French classic that goes well with poached fish.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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20 thoughts on “Sorrel

  1. I love sorrel too. It is called zuring in Dutch. You can’t get it easily but it grows well in the garden. It is great with fish too or a nice sorrel soup! Yummm!

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    1. I shall remember the Dutch name for when we travel there Sophie 🙂

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  2. I am going to have to add this to my herb and vegetable patch–i have not used it in my cooking but have tasted it

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    1. It is so easy to grow Usha 🙂

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  3. I do enjoy this but can’t remember the last time I had it. Thanks for sharing, Tandy!

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    1. my pleasure Squishy 🙂

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  4. That was really interesting! We don’t see a lot of sorrel on menus here but I see more places trying to grow it 🙂
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ Mushroom & Chestnut SoupMy Profile

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    1. It is so easy to grow Lorraine 🙂

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  5. Well, one more line on my spring vegetable and herb shopping list [would you believe in about 2-3 weeks 🙂 !]: I grew up on sorrel soups in N Europe and have to admit I have not grown it here! It is not available where I shop for vegetables and I do grow my own herbs. SO, guess what 🙂 !

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    1. Hope you manage to find some to grow, and I must try sorrel soup 🙂

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  6. Never use it, but should!
    Jacqueline sharing the blog ♥ Chocolate P B Nana TartMy Profile

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    1. It is easy to grow Jacs 🙂

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  7. Tandy, I am not sure I’ve ever eaten sorrel, at least not in the last couple of decades… but it looks familiar, so perhaps my mother cooked it? Great post.
    Lizzy (Good Things) sharing the blog ♥ Postcards and Morsels – a Winter’s walkMy Profile

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    1. I believe it is quite common in Europe Lizzy!

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  8. Mmm I love sorrel! It’s so lemony and delicious.

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    1. It is Joanne 🙂

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  9. That is so interesting Tandy. I really want to turn my backyard into a veggie garden as it is a messy kiddies schience lab most of the time. Will hopefully get into gardening this spring :/

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    1. I love gardening and I have made a head start on my vegetables – I can donate some seeds!

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  10. I love Sorrel and it used to grow so well in my herb garden.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    1. I use mine a lot!

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