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Best Sorrel Recipes

Best Sorrel Recipes

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Sorrel Shopping Tips

Buy green leafy vegetables like arugula, watercress, and collards – they are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like iron and calcium.

Sorrel Cooking Tips

Brighten up sandwiches or salads with small, tender leaves like spinach and add larger, tougher leaves like kale to soups and stews.

100 Sorrel Recipes – A Flavorful Healthy Herb Useful in Many Meals

Have you ever cooked with sorrel? No? Well, I highly recommend it! It’s an amazing herb that adds unique flavors and has a lot of health benefits. The perennial plant is high in vitamin C and also contains calcium, iron, and many other beneficial nutrients.

Sorrel has a sharp, tangy taste to it, sometimes described as lemony or citrusy. This makes the herb delightful for culinary uses as it adds unique flavors and pairs well with many items such as seafood.

There is a vast variety of uses out there and many sorrel recipes! Just here in this post, we have 100 of these sorrel recipes that use sorrel in common and also unique ways. Due to its versatility, below you will see breakfast, brunch, dinner, and other recipes that contain sorrel. So, let’s start cooking!

Jamaican Sorrel (Hibiscus) Drink Recipe

Why It Works

  • A short boil hydrates the sorrel, kicking off the infusion.
  • A long, cold steep ensures full flavor and color extraction.
  • Simple syrup makes it easy to sweeten to taste, with no need to wait for sugar to dissolve.

Sorrel is a sweet, gingery, wine-hued Jamaican drink that's always been a part of my Christmas tradition, offered as an option alongside eggnog and rum punch at holiday parties and tree trimmings. Its seasonal popularity is due to the time of year its primary ingredient, the blossoms of the hibiscus plant, were originally harvested and cultivated in the Caribbean. These days, sorrel is available for purchase—as processed or whole dried blossoms, or even steeped and bottled—at all times of the year. But for me, the viscous, tart drink doesn’t feel right outside of the holiday season.

Sorrel is the kind of centerpiece that people gather around the moment it leaves the fridge, cracking over ice as it’s poured, its merits debated by family members. Though its strong ginger flavor should shine, sorrel can easily be seasoned to taste—I've found that the steeping process, moreso than the spices used to flavor it, is the most important element. It's not the kind of thing you rush it should steep at least overnight, or for up to two or three days, before it’s finished with sugar and, optionally, rum. If you need sorrel in a rush, though, you can start it in the morning and strain it in the evening. You can then reuse the soaked sorrel leaves to brew another, slower batch by bringing it and fresh water back to a boil and letting it steep for a longer time the second time around (that said, don’t steep the sorrel more than twice before discarding it).

Sorrel on its own is acidic and tart. In this recipe, grated ginger cuts through the sharpness (I like it best when it burns a little), cloves and pimento (also known as allspice) give it a gentle warmth, and sugar provides balance. Some like it sweeter, others more tart, but if you have a strong, rich base, it can be tweaked to your taste by dialing the amount of simple syrup up or down. Steeping the brew for a longer period of time will also enhance its tartness.

The preferred and traditional way to enjoy sorrel is with Wray and Nephew overproof white rum. We always keep half a batch reserved without alcohol for those who don’t want to imbibe, or leave the bottle within reach of the pitcher so you can stir in your preferred amount of booze (remember: a little bit goes a long way). Whether your sorrel is spiked or virgin, though, you'll still want to clink and stir your ice in the glass so it dilutes a bit as you drink.

The taste space

No other vegetable at this time of year has such power, or complexity. Sorrel is fruity like rhubarb. It is tart like lemon. It is herbal like basil. And it can be treated like all three. — Amanda Hesser in New York Times

In general I like to put plants in my garden that I enjoy eating (kale and herbs are my easy go-to plants). However, now that I have a backyard, I am trying to groom it to become self-sufficient with perennials that will come back year after year. Last year my aunt gifted me with a new-to-me green/herb: sorrel.

Sorrel might be new-to-you, too. I have a few gardening books and the only one that had something about it was The Complete Herb and Vegetable Gardener (I guess it was complete!) but here is a great guide online. In stores, it is hard to find, but easy to appreciate.

Sorrel is a perennial that has sour, tangy leaves. The picture above is from my garden, where it lives in partial shade. Young growth from the spring has the best flavour (the leaves a bit smaller than what you see here) whereas the sourness is accentuated in older leaves. Remove any flowers so the plant can focus on making more leaves. Despite being a perennial plant, sorrel need to replaced every 3-4 years but should be easy to grow. This is the garden sorrel variety (Rumex acetosa) but there is also a less acidic variety with more lemony notes called French sorrel (Rumex acetosella). For those interested, Richters sells a few varieties, including Garden Sorrel, True French Sorrel and their own in-house variety Profusion Sorrel which doesn’t produce any flowers and makes lots of green leaves.

Sorrel is known for adding acidity to soups, and the Vegetarian Flavour Bible highlights its affinity for potatoes, spinach, onions as well as soups, salads and sauces. Clotilde also has an extensive list of suggestions on how to eat sorrel and here are The Vegetable Butcher’s top 10 ways to use sorrel. Here, I have compiled an extensive list of vegan (or vegan friendly) recipes using sorrel. Enjoy!

How Does This Sorrel Soup Taste like?

According to my taste-buds, this Polish-style Szczawiowa is a quintessence of spring. It tastes fresh and tangy. I’m amazed that these innocent-looking, frilly leaves are in fact jam-packed with flavour!

Interesting fact: The oxalic acid present in sorrel makes the soup taste sour, but a touch of cream balances the flavours nicely.

If this green broth was thicker, I reckon it would make a great sauce or a pesto – perhaps for a fish dish? I’ll need to give it a try.

How to Cook (and Not Cook) With Sorrel, Spring's Most Astringent Green

If you've never tried sorrel, be prepared to pucker up. This spring green is packed with potent astringency and a lemony, citrus-like flavor. It bump up the acidic quality of salads (just use less vinegar or lemon juice), and is great eaten raw. It also cooks down quickly in a sauté pan. It gets "mushy," which makes it ideal for blending into sauces and vinaigrettes.

Sorrel adds some kick to this simple salad.

Use a variety of greens, or the flavor will be too assertive. We like mizuna, tat soi, and dandelion greens.

Sorrel brings new meaning to the term "green juice."

Sorrel Rice Bowls with Poached Eggs. Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

Sorrel combines with olive oil to make a simple but well-balanced sauce.

Sorrel + mint + parsley = salsa verde magic.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Trinidad Sorrel Recipe

There are various sorrel recipes &ldquoout there&rdquo which include ginger, orange peel, all spice or lemon juice, but the recipe I am posting is the way Mummy made it. If I make any alterations, then &ldquosorrel&rdquo will no longer be linked to the wonderful Christmas childhood memories in Mummy&rsquos kitchen&hellip.and then what&rsquos the fun.

My recipe produces &ldquosorrel&rdquo with a wonderful balance of sweetness and tartness with a hint of cloves and cinnamon. Hopefully it will warm your heart (like it does mine), excite your taste buds and get you in the holiday spirit. Make some and don&rsquot forget to &ldquosend a bottle&rdquo to your neighbors&hellip.both the naughty and nice ones&hellip.

Ria&rsquos &ldquoSIMPLE&rdquo Trinidad Sorrel Recipe

2 cups sugar, or to taste (or raw brown sugar or other natural sweetener)
A little Alcohol&ndashrum or vodka, to taste&hellip[optional]

NOTE ABOUT USING FRESH SORREL&mdash&ndash**I recently experimented (12/2013) with fresh sorrel, but it was already cleaned. It measured half a pound, so I am figuring that you should use about one and a half pounds fresh, uncleaned sorrel if using. All other ingredients remained unchanged and it was just as delicious, ready to drink the next day and didn&rsquot require diluting! If you test it with fresh sorrel, please let me know.

Recipes With Sorrel

Sorrel is one of those ingredients that's so rare, it's not likely to be thrown at you in a recipe where you didn't see it coming. You're far more likely to buy some sorrel and then go looking for recipes for what to do with it.

Still, if you do run across a recipe with sorrel in it and you want to find a substitute, you could simply add some lemon juice or lemon zest. Mustard greens, arugula, rhubarb, and even spinach, along with a squeeze of lemon juice, can also stand in for sorrel.

The Ultimate Sorrel (Roselle) Jelly.

Sorrel juice is a MUST around Christmas time (when the flowers are usually in season) and to be honest with you, while most people like it served with ice, I like it both warn (like a tea) and cold. This time however, we’ll use the same sort of process for making the juice, but we’ll go a step further and make a delightful jelly for our breakfast toast.

100 g dried sorrel petals
10 cups water
3-5 thick slices ginger
1 stick cinnamon
1 orange (cut into segments)
6 cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
5-6 cups granulated sugar
1 package of (pectin) powder gelatin
1/2 lemon

Important. May I recommend that you get organic ginger and oranges for this recipe as the flavor will be better IMHO and the skin of the orange will not have any wax or other substance that’s usually put on fruit to give them a longer shelf life.

In a big pot place the dried sorrel, stick of cinnamon, orange segments (with skin), ginger, nutmeg, cloves and top with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook for 30 minutes to intensify the flavor and to reduce.

Turn the stove off the stove and allow it to steep for 30 minutes or until completely cool

Strain and discard the solids – you’ll end up with about 4 cups of sorrel liquid. I’d recommend straining a couple times to make sure you don’t get any small pieces in the finished jelly.

Back into a sauce pan with the sorrel liquid, heat back to medium. Pour in the sugar and whisk to melt the sugar crystals. Simmer for 20 minutes, so to reduce and pack that Spicy Sorrel flavor.

Now add the lemon juice and stir. This will help to balance the PH of the finished jelly.

Whisk in the pectin and thicken. Add more if you want it more of a jam consistency. 2-3 minutes later and you’re done. As it cools it will thicken further.

Place hot (be VERY careful) in sterilized glass containers and seal.

Store in a cool dry place, but once open it must go into the fridge. Opened, it will last for a couple of months in the fridge – easily.

Garden Sorrel: A Lemon-Flavored Vitamin Powerhouse

When you first sample sorrel, you’ll experience a bit of a shock that a leafy vegetable can somehow taste like sweet lemons.

Sheep’s sorrel (left) and garden sorrel (right) on cutting board. The leaves have the same shape, only garden sorrel has been bred to be much larger.

The flavor is primarily the result of oxalic acid, which is also found in broccoli and spinach. If you eat huge quantities of oxalic acid, it can be toxic, but for a healthy person without kidney problems, there’s virtually zero health risk involved in eating sorrel or other edible plants containing oxalic acid.

Sorrel exhibits some truly amazing nutritional qualities. For instance, a single cup of chopped sorrel leaves delivers over 100% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

It’s pretty easy to understand why sorrel would have been a prized plant before people could drive to the grocery store to get citrus or other vitamin-rich foods. It may have been the only thing preventing scurvy (Vitamin-C deficiency) in many people’s diets.

A closer look at the arrowhead-shaped leaves of wild sheep’s sorrel.

We like to make sorrel soup and sauce with our leaves, but apparently they can also be made into an excellent lemon-free “lemon pie.”

Sorrel Recipes: The Zingiest Garden Green

Many people probably haven’t had the opportunity to try sorrel, a surprisingly spritely, bright green herb. Yet it was not so long ago that this tasty herb was a standard in kitchen gardens. The flavor of the tangy, lemony leaves should earn this easy-to-grow herb a spot in every home garden and kitchen once again. Market gardeners would be wise to persuade local markets to carry sorrel so non-gardeners can taste this under-appreciated herb.

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa, R. sanguineus and R. scutatus) — from the Old High German sur, or “sour” — is related to rhubarb and contains the same oxalic acid compounds that give rhubarb its tanginess. It is zesty enough to stand in for lemon in a variety of recipes, as we have done with this Local Tabbouleh Recipe. That zestiness also makes sorrel a great foil for rich foods, which is how the ancient Egyptians and Romans used it. Sorrel’s acidity also means it’s not suited for cooking in aluminum or iron cookware because it will interact with the metals.

Culinarily, sorrel is quite versatile. Because the plant is perennial, you can count on sorrel for early spring recipes — where it shines alongside eggs, greens and milder herbs — as well as your heartiest fall fare. Sorrel purée will enliven bland root vegetables and tame strong-flavored fish.

Try shredded sorrel raw in salads — it can even replace the dressing. “Sorrel imparts so great a quickness to the salad,” said 18th-century herbalist John Evelyn, “that it should never be left out.” Raw leaves are nice in sandwiches, used as a garnish, or layered between fillets of fish or chicken before baking. When cooked, sorrel has a variety of uses, from classic soup (find recipes at the end of this article) to sauces for fish and poultry.

Sorrel is beginning to appear at more and more markets, and it can sometimes be harvested as a wild edible. If you can’t find it near you, consider planting your own. The perennial herb is compact and tolerant of pests, cold, heat, wet weather, droughts and general neglect. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber, iron and several vitamins. A few plants are all one family needs. For information on growing sorrel, best varieties and seed sources, see our article, Zesty Sorrel.

Seed-grown sorrel is often available in the herb section of garden centers. A Canadian company, Richters Herbs, offers a non-bolting variety called ‘Profusion,’ propagated by division.


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