Sorrel is not well known, but we think it should be! It’s one of the great spring greens that we look forward to all winter! The leaves are oblong, arrow-shaped, and green. Sorrel has a sour, lemony flavor that makes kids and grown-ups go wild, and which makes it an exciting addition to dishes. The sourness is a result of oxalic acid, which can decease your body’s ability to absorb calcium, making it not a great choice if you are prone to kidney stones. Nutritionally this little green has a lot to offer. It is high in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, and is also a good source of the minerals iron and calcium.
Sorrel is fairly easy to grow from seed, but we purchased a seedling that just keeps thriving every spring. It is a perennial plant, so it should return to your garden year after year. It doesn’t like the heat, which makes it a great candidate for spring and fall harvesting. The leaves are the part of the plant that are harvested, and the stem should be left in the ground to reproduce more leaves for the following year.
Because it can be bitter or sour, sorrel is often paired with other milder ingredients, like fish or eggs in quiches. It can liven up simple sauces or it can be a flavorful garnish. Some people even make a sorrel soup! If your sorrel is particularly lemony, the leaves can be blanched first to make the flavor a bit milder. Toss the leaves in with your favorite salad greens for an extra burst of flavor and nutrients!