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Food

Seasonal Eats: The Lemony Leaf Called Sorrel

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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

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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