This sour and lemony flavoured leaf goes well in salads and can be cooked up in soups, risottos and all sorts of tasty treats. It’s also dead easy to grow and can even be foraged so spice up your meals with sorrel this spring.
What’s sorrel about?
A member of the knotweed family (which might not sound that appetising but includes other edibles like rhubarb and buckwheat), this leafy green plant can be used as a herb or a vegetable. It’s full of vitamin A, B and C and contains fibre, potassium and protein – phew!
There are a few varieties such as common sorrel, French sorrel and red-veined sorrel but Jamaican sorrel is something else entirely. That’s a type of hibiscus plant also known as Roselle that’s grown in hot climates for its fibre, culinary and medicinal uses.
Where to get it, how to store it
The shame of it is that sorrel’s not that easy to come by in the shops. You might find it at the green grocer or turning up in a veg box but it’s not a supermarket staple. Your best bet is to grow your own as it’s so easy to do.
Sorrel also grows wild all over the UK so it’s something you can forage if you know what to look for. It’s best in spring so look out for its distinctive arrow-shaped leaves and small red and green flower stalks that pop up from May to August.
Once picked, use sorrel straight away for best flavour. It can also be kept in the fridge for a couple of days; make sure the leaves are dry so that they last longer.
The quickest way to enjoy sorrel is to throw some young leaves into a salad or add them to an omelette mix and fry. Or try this sorrel pesto, a delicious twist on the classic pine nut and basil recipe.
This Polish sorrel soup makes a perfect spring dish. Creamy, full of veg and topped with a hard-boiled egg, it’s a substantial bowl of food. Pop the ingredients in the Cook4Me for an easy midweek meal.
Sweet roasted parsnips drizzled in a vibrant green sorrel and watercress sauce is such a tasty side dish, we’d happily have it for lunch on its own!
Big on sorrel
Dial up the offering for Sunday lunch and serve spring lamb with a flavour-packed herb puree and succulent braised shallots.
Due to its citrusy hints, sorrel goes really well with fish. This salmon kiev recipe is a cracking way to taste that pairing; cut into crispy puff pastry to reveal salmon, wilted sorrel leaves and an oozing herby butter – yes please!
With all these recipes to try, sorrel doesn’t seem to be the hardest herb… (apologies to all Elton John fans for that sorry sorrel pun).