Dear French Sorrel, Where Have You Been All My Life?

sorrelOne of my neighbors and friends, Annette, here in my cute and quirky Seattle neighborhood, has an amazing city garden that’s starting to rival Martha Stewart’s. Seriously–name a fruit, veggie, herb or berry–and she probably has it in the ground. (And P.S. she also has chickens–in the city!) So on a walk this afternoon with the kiddos, I caught myself gazing longingly at her rows of tomatoes and squares of eggplant, along with the cranberry plants and the mysterious sprigs of lime-green poking out of the earth everywhere. She noticed my curiosity and plucked a leaf off a plant and handed it to me today. It looked a lot like spinach, but when I took a bite, I was blown away. It tasted exactly like


French sorrel was what I was eating, she said. Sorrel. My mind starting churning. Surely I’d had it in a salad, at a restaurant, somewhere. But why hadn’t I remembered its bright, citrusy–lemon in disguise as a green leaf–flavor? It was unforgettable. And now, I’m determined to plant some ASAP.

I hopped over to her blog, Sustainable Eats, this evening (where you can check out more amazing-ness from her garden and life) and was thrilled to see that she’d written about sorrel, with lots of great info and factoids for health nuts like myself:

“French sorrel is a domesticated version of a weed–meaning it has a full nutritional profile. It’s high in vitamin C, A and iron. … It looks like spinach without that strange mouth-feel and the biggest surprise is it tastes like it has a shot of lemon juice on it. It’s perfect blended into a salad, or with small chiffonades of leaves mixed into savory salads like pasta or quinoa salad. …Tonight I served it under a plate of Loki salmon cakes with a chive sour cream sauce and the lemon flavor was the perfect complement.” [Inserted note from Sarah: Um, when can I come over for dinner? Now?]

“My five year old can’t get enough of this plant–he’s a sour patch kind of guy. He can’t walk by the plants without stooping to pick off a leaf and eat it. The great thing about growing leafy plants like these is you trim or pinch off the outer leaves of the plants and use them. The rest of the plant keeps growing and producing to fill your tummy for future meals. No waste or rotting greens in your refrigerator drawer (and you know you have some).”

Wilted greens in the fridge? Um, guilty!

Have you ever had French sorrel?

[Photo: thunderf10wer]

1 Comment
  • June 8, 2009


    You’ve inspired me to grow some sorrel soon!



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