Great Reasons to Try Sorrel

Are you growing a garden this season? I am, and the excitement is building as I impatiently wait for my greens to mature. Green smoothies through the roof!

So while I’m waiting, do you mind if we talk greens? Sorrel, specifically. It’s one that’s often overlooked, which is a pity because it’s easy to grow, is loaded with nutrition, and adds a special zip to everything it’s paired with.

Sorrel is a delicate, leafy green that’s great in soups, sauces, and salads. If you’ve never tried it before, you are in for a treat! While it looks a lot like other leafy salad greens, it has a bright, almost citrusy flavor. And unlike most other salad greens, it can be served cooked as well as raw.

It’s easy to find in most produce departments. I found these tips on one of my favorite websites, Care2 for selecting the best of the best. Use the same criteria that you use for picking out other fresh spring greens (arugula, watercress, baby bok choy, baby spinach, mesculine, etc.):

  •   Purchase your greens on the day you want to cook them. This is especially important with sorrel. It’s a sad day when you have to toss a bunch of greens right into the compost because they turned to mush overnight (which easily happens).
  •   Avoid wilted, discolored leaves. Ugly produce has its place—as a money-saver and over-looked source of nutrients, but when it comes to delicate spring greens like sorrel, go for pretty.

According to Care2, that’s pretty much it in the choosing department. When it comes to storing your sorrel, the best tip they give is this: DON’T. But if you absolutely do need to store your sorrel for a day or so, here’s how:

  •   Keep it dry. Wrap it in a dry cloth napkin or paper towel to absorb any moisture.

  •   Do not prewash. Right, so this is basically saying “Keep it dry” again. But it’s that important. Dry, dry, dry!

Now let’s talk about how to cook with sorrel. First, make sure you thoroughly wash it. This herb grows close to the dirt, so you’ll want to rinse it well in a bowl of cold water, then gently pat the leaves dry. Some folks say to remove the stems, but unless they’re very woody, you can leave them. Sorrel is expensive, so it’s smart to use every last bit of it!

Besides tossing it in salads, smoothies, and using it on sandwiches, there are some tasty ways to cook with it. Care2 shared two ideas:

Sorrel Pesto. Use this as a dipping sauce for bread or toss it with pasta. Sorrel’s citrusy flavor really shines in a simple pesto. And it substitutes easily for the basil typical pesto recipes call for.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

Spring Vegetable Stew. Stew up sorrel along with lots of other seasonal spring veggies, and say hello to nutrition density! This is really nothing more than a creamy vegetable soup with some rice or barley and chopped sorrel added. But the flavor of sorrel does something special to whatever recipe you use.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

And I like to roughly chop it and add it as the last ingredient in my veggie stir fry. I also combine it with chopped spinach in my lasagna recipe.

Sorrel is high in all vitamins and minerals, is easy to digest, and provides plenty of fiber. And if you’d like to take your fresh salads and other foods to a whole new level, then incorporating the citrusy zip of sorrel is the place to start. There are just so many great reasons to give sorrel a try!


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author!

blog comments powered by Disqus