Sorrel Plant Uses – Tips On Using Sorrel Herbs In Cooking
Sorrelis an herb that is commonly used throughout the world but has failed to piquethe interest of most Americans, most likely because they don’t know how to usesorrel. Cooking with sorrel herb plants enhances a dish, lifting it to newheights. There are a number of sorrel plant uses in the kitchen; the herb canbe eaten fresh or cooked and has a bright, lemony tang. In the following article,we discuss using sorrel herbs in the kitchen.
What are Sorrel Herb Plants?
Sorrel herb plants are small edible green leafed plants relatedto rhubarband buckwheat.There are three main varieties: broad leaf, French (buckler leaf), and red-veinedsorrel.
Broad leaf sorrel has slender, arrow-shaped leaves whileFrench sorrel herb plants have small, bell-like leaves. Red-veinedsorrel looks exactly as it sounds and is streaked with bright red veinsacross green leaves.
Sorrel Plant Uses
Common sorrel has been cultivated for hundreds of years. Ithas a tangy, refreshing flavor reminiscent of kiwior sour wildstrawberries. This tangy to sharp twang is the result of oxalic acid.
You can find Nigerians using sorrel herbs cooked into stewsor steamed along with roasted peanut cakes, salt, pepper, onion,and tomatoes.In India, the herb is used in soups or curries. In Afghanistan, sorrel herbleaves are dipped into a batter and then deep fried and served either as anappetizer or during Ramadan, to break the fast.
Cooking with sorrel is popular in Eastern Europe where it isused in soups, stewed with vegetables, or added to meat or egg dishes. TheGreeks add it to spanakopita, a phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach,leeks,and feta cheese.
In Albania, sorrel leaves are simmered, marinated in oliveoil, and used to fill byrek pies. In Armenia, the leaves of sorrel herb plantsare woven into braids and dried for winter use, most often a soup of onions, potatoes,walnuts,garlic,and bulgur or lentils.
How to Use Sorrel
If some of the above ideas aren’t your cup of tea, there aremany other ways of using sorrel herbs. Just remember that mature leaves arequite intense. If you are using sorrel leaves fresh in a salad, only use thetender young leaves and be sure to mix them with other types of saladgreens so the flavor is married and not quite so intense.
Large sorrel leaves should be cooked; otherwise, they arejust too spicy. When cooked, sorrel leaves break down just like spinach does,making it good for use in sauces. Use a sauce of sorrel leaves with fish,especially fatty or oily fish, which will lighten and brighten the meal.
Sorrel turns pesto into something on another plane. Justcombine sorrel leaves, fresh garlic cloves, Marcona almonds,grated parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil. You can’t beat salsa Verde madewith sorrel leaves, mint,and parsley;try it over pork chops.
Dice a bit of the herb and toss it into pasta dishes or wiltinto soup. Wrap beef or fish in the leaves before grilling. The leaves ofsorrel herb also complement a variety of poultry dishes and beautifully enlivenrice or grain dishes.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article is foreducational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb orplant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician, medicalherbalist or other suitable professional for advice.
7 Recipes to Use Up a Bunch of Sorrel
Sorrel is one of my favorite spring and summer farmers market finds I make sure to scoop up a couple bunches anytime I find it. But when I get home, even though this leafy green is no longer new to me, the same question always pop into my head: “What to make with sorrel?” Sorrel can be pretty tart and even acidic, but it can be so exquisite when paired well: It has a fresh bite that epitomizes spring, and while it can be too much to eat on its own as a raw salad, there are so many dishes that brighten tremendously with a smattering of this tender green.
Most folks use raw sorrel as an accent, but young spring sorrel can be wonderful tossed into salads, making for a nice citrusy bite. You can even drop a handful in the blender before blitzing up your smoothie. This is the kind of green that will refresh you, wake you up, and remind you that it’s spring. When it’s cooked, however, sorrel’s tartness wanes, making it a wonderful complement to chicken or fish and an excellent candidate for homemade sauces.
When picking out a bunch of sorrel, look for leaves that are bright green and firm. If they seem a touch yellow, leave them. Often when sorrel is cooked, its vibrant leaves turn a bit murky or even brown — this is totally normal and won’t affect the flavor.
Here are five recipes to help you use up a bunch of fresh sorrel.
How Can You Use Frozen Herbs in Your Cooking
1. Substitute for Fresh
Nine times out of ten, you’ll be able to use frozen herbs as a direct substitute for fresh herbs in your cooking. In some cases, you won’t even have to thaw the herbs! Simple sprinkle or toss them as needed into your recipe.
Just avoid using herbs that have been frozen as garnishes, because you’ll likely be disappointed by the (somewhat soggy) results.
2. Sprinkle Over Hot Foods
Just like you would normally sprinkle fresh tarragon, parsley, or chives over your favorite hot dishes – like scrambled eggs, rice, or cooked chicken – you can also sprinkle frozen herbs over them, too.
Keep in mind that this method works best if you have frozen herbs by themselves and not with any water or oil.
3. Make Herbal Rubs
You can easily make rubs with your preserved herbs, too. Again, plain herbs will work best for this, as will those that have already been chopped. Simply rub them onto the perfect cut of pork chop or roasted chicken before cooking. You likely won’t even remember that they were previously frozen when it’s time to eat.
4. Liven Up Bread Dough
If you’re sick of the same old homemade bread, why not add a few herbs to spice things up? A great artisan loaf can be improved with a dash of rosemary or basil. Both of these herbs freeze remarkably well. You can make your own blend or just try one or two different herbs at a time. You can even use frozen herbs in a quiche crust!
5. Make Herb Butter
Herb butters are all the rage. From chive butter to lavender butter, you can really upgrade your normal buttered toast experience when you use frozen herbs. You may want to thaw them for this application. This will get rid of unwanted, excess moisture in your butter (the moisture won’t cookout as it would in a hot dish).
For cold salads, thaw your herbs before using them. You can use plain thawed herbs or you can make a bottled vinaigrette for your salad greens – just whisk some dill or tarragon into a bit of vinegar. You don’t have to stick to green salads either. Frozen herbs taste great in egg, potato, and tuna salads, too.
If you’re experimenting with using frozen herbs in the kitchen, a sauce is a great place to start. If there are any flavors or textures that you don’t like, it will be easy to conceal the mistake by adding other ingredients.
You don’t have to thaw herbs before putting them in a sauce – just make sure you stir constantly while they are cooking.
Even desserts can get an upgrade with some frozen herbs! Depending on what exactly you are making, you may (or may not) want to thaw your herbs first.
If you're going to use it within a day or two, simply keep sorrel loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. For longer storage, rinse it clean, pat it dry, and roll the leaves up in paper towels before putting them in the plastic. The paper towels will sop up any excess liquid, keeping the leaves at once dry but in a damp-enough environment. Learn how to wash and store greens if you are planning to use them frequently.
If you find yourself with more sorrel than you can use, cook the leaves in a bit of butter until they wilt and fall apart. The final result will be like a sorrel puree. Freeze this purée to add to soups or stews for a taste of spring in the dead of winter.
Versatile Sorrel Recipes From Breakfast to Drinks
1. Green Lentil Salad
Go green with this delicious and nutritious lentil salad! Crunchy asparagus, herby sorrel, and… is that feta? You bet it is!
2. Planked Salmon with Fresh Sorrel Sauce
This salmon cooked just-right, pairs wonderfully with a homemade garlicky sorrel sauce. Serve next to a fresh salad for a light and satisfying meal.
3. Rhubarb, Celery, and Sorrel Salad
The perfect Spring/Summer salad that is light, crispy, crunchy, packed with healthy stuff, and bursting with flavor!
4. Gongura Pachadi
Gongura Pachadi (or red sorrel leaf pickle) is sour, spicy, tangy, and oh so yummy! Served perfectly over rice.
5. Sorrel Fettucine
Beautiful in color, this vibrant Sorrel Fettuccine does more than just look good, it tastes amazing! Served with a simple shrimp sauce.
6. Apple and Elderflower Dessert
Tangy apples and aromatic elderflowers create unique flavors in this dessert. Crispy sorrel granita and honeycomb are served with this delightful dish.
7. Prawns and Sorrel
As described in the original post, “beautiful on the plate and on the palette.” Fresh prawns go nicely with the slightly-sour sorrel.
8. Cucumber, Milk, Sorrel
This green dessert has all the refreshing flavors (and aromas) of cucumber, mint, and sorrel. Mix that with some reduced milk and you’ve got yourself a summer’s day treat.
9. Smoked Trout Crispbread
Oh, my! It’s like a pizza donut! This crispbread has smokey trout, fresh redcurrants and asparagus, and crispy fried bacon. Wow!!
10. Strawberries with Yogurt and Sorrel
Sweet strawberries to contrast the sourness of sorrel leaves. A classy dessert (or breakfast?) served with granola.
11. Scallop Ceviche
This looks (and sounds) too good to be true! Let me break it down for you: Scallop ceviche with a sorrel and apple gel served with pickled golden beetroot. Wow…!
12. Fusilli with Sea Urchin
Can you believe that this dish is made under 30 minutes? It looks like a masterpiece! It’s recommended that you buy the sea urchins the day that you serve them for the ideal freshness.
13. Sorrel Lentil Salad
This yogurt-y salad combines an array of fresh vegetables with herbs, seeds, and lentils. So fresh and so tasty!
14. King Crab with Avocado
An awesome flavor combination of crab meat, grapefruit, and avocado. Top that off with some wood sorrel and enjoy!
15. Springtime Moules Marinier
Fresh mussels with a herby kick from sprinkled dill and a citrusy tang from the micro-sorrel leaves. Fresh, light, and delicious.
16. Panade of Leeks and Greens
A delicious and comforting soup loaded with greens, topped with soft and warm bread, and then melted together with gruyere cheese. Yum! The perfect winter delight.
17. Sorrel and Potato Gratin
This Potato Gratin has a wonderfully robust flavor due to the handfuls of sorrel added into it. A hearty and yummy dish to serve with a salad or protein.
18. Sorrel Salad with Figs
A super simple idea with a lovely taste. Salad made with baby greens, fresh herbs, and topped with chunks of sweet fig.
19. Lentil Butternut Soup
Check out that presentation! This soup looks absolutely divine and surely tastes so too! Fresh red sorrel leaves garnish this creamy soup to add a citrusy kick.
20. Sorrel Jam
Sorrel seed capsules, when boiled, create a natural thickener which makes jam-making super easy! It has a unique flavor and awesome texture.
21. Ramp, Pea, Sorrel Soup
Vegan and gluten-free, this warm soup is your perfect comfort friend on a cold rainy day. Healthy and simple to make.
22. Salmon with Sorrel
An easy meal that takes only 35 minutes before you are digging in. Fresh salmon with sorrel and chopped shallots. (Use Google Translate to read instructions)
23. Crispy Duck Confit with Sorrel
A savory pastry bursting with flavor and unique textures. Perfect for an afternoon snack. (Use Google Translate to read instructions)
24. Green Borscht
A classic Russian/Ukranian comfort food that is wonderful to enjoy curled up on the couch with a warm piece of fresh bread.
25. Pappardelle with Sorrel Butter
Only 20 minutes to make? Wow! This pasta looks divine with only a handful of ingredients but an abundance of flavor.
Sorrel Recipes: 50 Things To Do With Fresh Sorrel
Garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is commonly cultivated in French vegetable patches, and the season is just beginning. It is a sturdy, easy-to-grow leafy plant that comes back year after year, and belongs to the same botanical family as rhubarb and buckwheat, which is always fun to know.
I think of it as being halfway between a green and an herb: its flavor is notably tangy and sour, and sorrel recipes have you eat it raw or gently cooked, but in both cases it is best served in combination with other ingredients, so its pungency won’t overwhelm.
Well used, it is a delight that can really lift a dish, especially in conjunction with a sweet or fatty element.
But the operative phrase here is “well used” and I thought I would turn to you via twitter to hear about your favorite sorrel recipes using the fresh stuff, as I did last year for sage recipes.
Many thanks to all who chimed in here’s the list of sorrel recipes I compiled, for your use and enjoyment.
(Note: in French, sorrel is oseille and it’s a classic slang word for money, in use since the late nineteenth century. Woody Allen’s 1969 movie Take The Money And Run was released in France under the title “Prends l’oseille et tire-toi.”)
Best pairings for sorrel recipes
– Sorrel + fish (especially fatty fish, such as salmon — seek out a sustainable source — or mackerel)
– Sorrel + shellfish (especially scallops, same comment as for salmon)
– Sorrel + cream or butter
– Sorrel + bacon
– Sorrel + potatoes
– Sorrel + rice
– Sorrel + lentils
– Sorrel + celeriac
– Sorrel + leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale)
– Sorrel + eggs
– Sorrel + chicken or veal
– Sorrel + mustard
– Sorrel + goat cheese
– Add to soups
– Make it into a sauce for fish
– Add to omelets and scrambled eggs
– Add to a stuffing for meat
– Shred sorrel and stuff it into fish
– Add to quiches
– Add to mashed potatoes
– Add to hummus
– Add to pasta
– Add to mixed-leaf and herb salads
– Add to chard and spinach anywhere you would use those
– Use as a filling for buckwheat crêpes
– Make it into a pesto, to use in pasta, on pizzas, or with grilled salmon