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French sorrel grows in thick clumps that are approximately 45 to 60 centimeters tall. The slightly rounded ovate leaves are a brilliant green color and have a wrinkled appearance. In the summer, small green flowers, which turn reddish-brown later, bloom from a central stalk. French sorrel is tender and suuculent offering a quenching sensation on the palate. It has an earthy quality and sharp lemon flavor that is distinct to all sorrel varieties, but decidedly more delicate.
French sorrel can be found year-round.
French sorrel is an herbaceous perennial that is botanically classified as Rumex scutatus. It belongs to the buckwheat family and is often confused with Garden sorrel, but is in fact a separate species. Both produce green spinach-like leaves that can be prepared in similar manners, but French sorrel is a smaller plant with a milder flavor and more succulent texture.
French sorrel is an excellent source of potassium and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
French Sorrel may be used raw as salad green or a fresh herb, or sautéed similarly to spinach. The young leaves are tender and mild, best for fresh eating, while larger leaves become sharp and bitter, best for cooked applications. Sorrel makes an excellent puree, for sauces or soup, and is the main ingredient in the French recipe for soupe aux herbes. Complimentary flavors include, hard aged cheeses, cream, eggs, fish, caviar, oysters, lentils, potatoes, spinach, onion, shallot, mustard, parsley, tarragon, mint, chervil and nutmeg. It is recommended to only use a stainless steel knife when cutting sorrel, and to refrain from cooking in metal pots all together as its high acid content discolors and erodes metal cookware.
French sorrel is widely used in French cuisine to make soup, tarts and the famous Troisgros brothers' “salmon with sorrel sauce”.
Originating in the Highland areas of Southern France and then extending to neighboring countries, French sorrel became popular in England toward the end of the 16th century, and soon became more popular than other sorrel varieties. French sorrel now grows naturally throughout most temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. It prefers sunny locations with dry, well-drained soils.
Recipes that include French Sorrel. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Trini Gourmet||Sorrel Drink|
|Hunter Angler Gardener Cook||Sorrel Sauce|
|Amateur Gourmet||Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros|
|Herbivoracious||Cold Sorrel and Coconut Milk Soup|
|David Lebovitz||Ottolenghi’s Fried Beans with Sorrel, Feta & Sumac|