8 Recipes to Use Up a Bunch of Sorrel

updated Apr 15, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Sorrel is one of my favorite spring and summer farmers market finds; I make sure to scoop up a couple bunches anytime I find it. But when I get home, even though this leafy green is no longer new to me, the same question always pop into my head: “What to make with sorrel?” Sorrel can be pretty tart and even acidic, but it can be so exquisite when paired well: It has a fresh bite that epitomizes spring, and while it can be too much to eat on its own as a raw salad, there are so many dishes that brighten tremendously with a smattering of this tender green.

What Is Sorrel?

Sorrel is an herb with a sharp, lemony flavor. Its sour taste comes from oxalic acid, which also gives rhubarb its tartness. Sorrel is a cool-weather herb that makes its way to markets in the spring.

How to Buy Sorrel

When picking out a bunch of sorrel, look for leaves that are bright green and firm. The red-veined variety of sorrel has bright green leaves laced with red veins. You can find French or garden sorrel (the most common varieties of cultivated sorrel) at farmers markets and specialty produce shops. Keep an eye out for wild sorrel, as well.

How to Use Sorrel

Most folks use raw sorrel as an accent, but young spring sorrel can be wonderful tossed into salads, making for a nice citrusy bite. You can even drop a handful in the blender before blitzing up your breakfast smoothie. This is the kind of green that will refresh you, wake you up, and remind you that it’s spring.

When it’s cooked, however, sorrel’s tartness wanes, making it a wonderful complement to chicken or fish and an excellent candidate for homemade sauces. Often when sorrel is cooked, its vibrant leaves turn a bit murky or even brown — this is totally normal and won’t affect the flavor.

Here are 8 recipes to help you use up a bunch of fresh sorrel.

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Brown Butter Polonaise Sauce

This brown butter sauce adds a buttery crunch, eggy richness, and brightness from the sorrel to any dish it’s added to.

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Creamy Spinach and Sorrel with Dill

Less creamy than creamed spinach but just as luxurious, this is the simple spring side you need, especially when you add a few handfuls of lemony sorrell.

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Salmon with Sorrel Butter

Topping a rich-tasting salmon fillet with herby sorrel-spiked butter is always a good move, whether you cook it sous-vide style, in the oven, or on the grill.

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The New Spring Mix

When in doubt toss a big handful of sorrel leaves into whatever green salad you're whipping up. It's lemony zing instantly livens up even the most basic of salad bowls.

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KBBQ Perilla Wraps

The zingy bite of sorrel is a fun addition to these Korean-inspired wraps, or any lettuce wrap for that matter.

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Spring Quiche with Leeks and Sorrel

Rather than baking the sorrel leaves into the quiche as you would with other leafy greens, like spinach quiche, you'll add a mess of the leaves on top when serving. This move preserves the sorrel's bright, lemony flavor to give the quiche a fresh twist.

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Spring Pesto

Combine sorrel with other spring greens like arugula and spinach or use it all by itself in this vibrant pesto that perfect slathered on socca flatbread or tossed with pasta.

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Ricotta Dumplings with Chèvre & Herbs

If you're not quite sure how to use up a handful of sorrel, pasta (of any sort) is always a delicious solution. This recipe calls for ricotta dumplings, although any kind of gnocchi (like ricotta gnocchi), tortellini, or ravioli will work.

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