• Sorrel
Sorrel
Sorrel was a key part of British kitchen gardens in Tudor times yet it tends to be thought of as a French ingredient. Known as erba brusca or 'sour grass' in Italy, sorrel is part of lettuce family and looks like a pale green version of baby spinach. The pointed leaves have a tangy, lemony gooseberry flavour.
The bite comes from the high content of oxalic acid, which means it should only be eaten in moderation. Sorrel appears soon after winter, so is good for salads early in the year when there is little else around. It has one of the largest roots of all vegetables and lives a long time.

Varieties
Garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and sheep's sorrel (Rumex ascetosella) are indigenous to Britain. Cultivated French sorrel (Rumex scutatus) tastes very similar though the leaves are a different shape. Wood sorrel is a completely different plant, though also a traditional herb used for soups and salads.


Serving suggestions
When the leaves are under 7.5cm long, they can be used raw in salads, especially with dandelion leaves. Bigger leaves can be made into soups, sauces and risotto. Khaki-coloured sorrel purée is a good acidic accompaniment to oily fish, chicken or veal, or poached eggs on toast. It can be stirred into crème fraîche to give quick sauce. Add a few leaves of watercress, spinach or parsley if you want a brighter green colour. Chop sorrel like a herb to add to stuffings and crumb coatings. The lemony taste means sorrel can also be added carefully to fruit salads, jellies, custard and fruit drinks, as lemon balm or verbena.

Related recipes

 
Escalopes of salmon with sorrel sauce
Escalopes of salmon with sorrel sauce
By James Martin on James Martin Digs Deep

James Martin's sharp tangy lemon-scented sorrel sauce cuts through the richness of flavoursome salmon in this tasty recipe

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
25 min

Fontina and sorrel arancini
Fontina and sorrel arancini
By Aaron Craze on Market Kitchen

A tangy salsa rossa with cinnamon, chilli and vinegar is the perfect accompaniment to Aaron Craze’s arancini – Sicilian risotto balls

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Watch video



intermediate

Total time
55 min

Wild Salmon with Parsley and Sorrel Sauce
Wild Salmon with Parsley and Sorrel Sauce
By Jeremy Lee on Market Kitchen

Jeremy Lee serves wild salmon fillets with a vibrant herb sauce and garlicky spinach

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
35 min

Courgette and sorrel soup
Courgette and sorrel soup
By Lotte Duncan

Fresh sorrel adds a deliciously lemony tang to courgette soup in Lotte Duncan's simple, tasty recipe

Avg user rating: 5 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
55 min

Chicken with avocado and emmenthal served with fluffy sorrel jacket potatoes
Chicken with avocado and emmenthal served with fluffy sorrel jacket potatoes
By Lotte Duncan

Baked potatoes go upmarket in Lotte Duncan's stylish meal, a delicious combination of flavours and textures

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
1 hr 35 min

Skillet breads with vegetables and sorrel
Skillet breads with vegetables and sorrel
By Lesley Waters

Lesley Waters sizzles up a whole feast of fabulous flavours with these simple but sassy pan-fried pizzas

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
1 hr 35 min

Wild salmon with sorrel hollandaise
Wild salmon with sorrel hollandaise
By James Nathan on Market Kitchen

Sorrel brings an extra tangy edge to James Nathan’s wild salmon dish

Avg user rating: 5 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
35 min

Chicken thighs with sorrel and shallots
Chicken thighs with sorrel and shallots
By Matthew Fort on Market Kitchen

A simple dinner on the cheap by Matthew Fort involves just some tender chicken, white wine and crème fraiche

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
55 min

Spicy Grilled Mackerel with Sorrel Lentils
Spicy Grilled Mackerel with Sorrel Lentils
By Lesley Waters on Market Kitchen

Lesley Water's fabulous fusion of textures, flavours and spices make this a winning way to serve mackerel

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
50 min

Smoked Chicken and Asparagus Paella with Broad Bean, Almond and Sorrel Pesto
Smoked Chicken and Asparagus Paella with Broad Bean, Almond and Sorrel Pesto
By Ed Baines

Ed Baines's stylish version of a traditional Spanish rice dish combines garlic-roasted chicken, asparagus and a zingy green pesto

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



intermediate

Total time
1 hr 40 min