The name sorrel, derived from the French word for 'sour' is used to describe several plants, including wild sorrel and French sorrel. Known for their distinct acidic flavour, these leaves taste similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock.
Where to find
Sorrel's pear-shaped leaves are among the first to appear in February and March, and provide the perfect antidote to the earthy flavours of winter. They can be found in shady areas, along trails and in lawns or gardens- essentially anywhere that does not receive a great deal of direct sunlight.
How to use
Sorrel is very easy to prepare- simply wash well, remove any tough stalks and shred the leaves by rolling into fat 'cigars' and slicing thinly. These leaves can be added to salads to add a unique flavour, puréed to make soups and sauces or used as an alternative to basil to make a delicious pesto.
As well as adding a unique flavour to your dishes this summer, sorrel has a number of nutritional benefits. It contains a significant amount of fibre, a small amount of protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin C. It is soothing to the stomach, boosts the immune system, increases circulation, boost eyesight, relieves indigestion, and can help stop vomiting. Sorrels are also attributed with blood cleansing properties and are sometimes used by cancer patients.