Q & A – Sorrel

By / Food / June 7th, 2011 / Like

My grocery store stocks sorrel in the herb section. But, I thought it was a vegetable. Which is it?

It’s both actually.

Sorrel certainly looks more like a vegetable than a herb because it has long, lettuce-like leaves. It’s typically considered a sidedish, like sautéed spinach. But, because it’s a perennial that lends its own particular flavour to food, it’s really a herb. It’s sharp, bitter flavour has been compared to kiwifruit. Sorrel is often blanched for about 3 minutes then left to drain before it’s used because the leaves contain oxalic acid which though generally harmless, in large quantities, can be fatal.

Have you ever suffered from kidney stones? If so, you probably want to watch how much oxalic acid you take in. It’s a substance commonly found in kidney stones. Spinach, rhubarb leaves, unripe strawberries and star fruit also contain fairly high levels of oxalate. But, don’t let that keep you away from trying sorrel. Here are just a few ways of enjoying it.

• Purée it in soups and sauces or added to salads;
• Sauté it with spinach and add it to a roasted turkey sandwich;
• Add it to mashed potatoes;
• Or do as the Greeks do and combine it with sautéed spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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