So What Exactly IS Sorrel?
Sorrel is a hardy perennial herb belonging to the buckwheat family that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable. Sorrel has grown wild for centuries in Asia, Europe and North America. The presence of oxalic acid produces acidic and tart or sour notes, that are not so prominent in young leaves, which are preferred for harvesting. Sorrel leaves are shaped like spinach leaves and range from 2 to 12 inches in length. Sorrel is available year-round, but it is at its youngest and mildest in spring. It is high in vitamin A and contains some calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.
Uses for Sorrel
Sorrel is often found in cream soups, fish stuffings, omelets, breads, salads, sauces and cole slaw. Younger sorrel is often cooked and served like spinach, or eaten raw in salads. Older, more acidic sorrel is good in cream soups where the addition of sour cream is said to reduce the tart overtones. Clean sorrel like spinach, folding each leaf in half lengthwise and stripping the tough central stem away from the soft leaves. Asparagus, sorrel, fresh peas and apples go well together.
Recipes Using Sorrel
Eastern European Cream of Sorrel Soup Recipe
Polish Sorrel Soup Recipe - Zupa Szczawiowa
Russian / Ukrainian Sorrel Soup Recipe - Schav Borscht
How to Say Sorrel in Eastern Europe
- Bulgarian -- kiselets
- Croatian -- loboda
- Czech -- šťovík
- Lithuanian -- rūgštynė
- Hungary -- soska
- Polish -- szczaw
- Romanian -- măcriş
- Russia -- shchavel
- Serbian -- kiseljak
- Slovak -- šťavel
- Slovenian -- kislica
- Ukraine -- shchavel
Use Caution When Picking Wild Sorrel and Other Greens
In many cases, poisonous plants closely resemble and grow near edible ones. Pick wild greens only if you are certain they are what you think they are, and that they have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.
Selecting and Storing Sorrel
Choose fresh-looking, bright green, crisp leaves. Sorrel with woody stems or yellow or wilted leaves should be avoided. Refrigerate fresh sorrel in a plastic zip-top bag filled with air for up to three days. If leaves do become wilted, plunge them into an ice-water bath to revive them. Sorrel leaves should be thoroughly washed and dried before using, NOT before storing.