This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Seasonal Eats: The Lemony Leaf Called Sorrel
Something you might find at your Farmer's Market herb seller's tables this spring is sorrel, a perennial pot herb sharing the texture of spinach, the size of young chard, and having a tart, sour lemon flavor. Similar to chard, the stems are crunchy and rigid compared to the leaves, so you may want to destem the leaves for use in salad, and save the stems for a sauté or a smoothie. Here's a great list of starting points for using sorrel (definitely try the strawberry sorrel smoothie).
Sorrel is a very nutritious addition to your diet, offering dietary fiber, protein vitamin C and vitamin A, iron and calcium. Like spinach, sorrel has a high oxalate content, which binds to both the iron and calcium, preventing absorption by the body, so these leafy greens should not be relied upon as a main source for either mineral. (But if you have issues with kidney stones, your body isn't efficiently breaking up the salts left behind by the oxalic acid, so you might want to skip out on sorrel.)
6 ways to serve sorrel:
Blend up chopped sorrel into a pesto with basil and walnuts: sorrel walnut pesto
Make sorrel just one of a medly of raw, tangy flavors in this salad of bitter greens and oranges
Add bright tartness to a tasty sorrel frittata
Sauté it up and throw in some grated gruyère: sorrel onion tart
Complement the flavor and cut the tartness with a creamy sorrel sauce: pecan-crusted salmon with sorrel sauce
Last but not least, the hearty soup that made it famous: french sorrel soup