Sorrel is an erect perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. The leaves are approximately 12cm long with a roughly oval shape tapering to arrow like at the base. It flowers with small reddish flowers which are clumped.
It is grown primarily as a culinary herb with the young leaves adding a tart flavour to salads. It was traditionally used as a blood cleanser, cardiac tonic, febrifuge and was taken on sea voyages to help stave off scurvy.
Sorrel is grown from either seed or clump division. It self seeds readily and can become weedy. Plants should be replaced every two to three years. It likes a moist, partially shaded position in order to produce optimum leaves. Leaves should be picked from the outside of the plant and flowers removed unless the seed is required. It will grow happily in a container if kept moist.
Plant with onions, lettuce, strawberries and spinach.
- Sorrel seeds
- Cosmetic Uses
- Sorrel tea for acne – 28g fresh sorrel, 568ml boiling water – infused for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day and use as a wash. Caution: Sorrel is high in Oxalic Acid and should be avoided by people with asthma, rheumatism and gout.
- Drawing ointment – Cooked pulped sorrel will bring infection to the surface.
- The above information has been taken from “The Make-Your-Own Cosmetic & Fragrance Book for Australians by Elizabeth Francke”. A professional medical opinion should be sought for all serious conditions.
Sweet potato & zucchini fritters
- 200g orange sweet potato (kumara), peeled, coarsely grated
- 200g zucchini, coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup shredded fresh sorrel
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
- 60g baby spinach leaves, ends trimmed, washed, dried, to serve
Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with paper towel.
Place the sweet potato and zucchini in a large bowl and toss to combine. Use your hands to squeeze any excess liquid from the vegetables and transfer to a clean bowl.
Add sorrel, parsley and garlic to the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and toss to combine. Add egg and mix well.
Heat 1 1/2 tbs of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spoon 2 tbs of vegetable mixture into the pan and spread until 5cm in diameter. Repeat with the vegetable mixture to make 3 more fritters. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to the lined tray and place in preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and vegetable mixture.
Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and spinach leaves.
Australian Good Taste – December 2000 , Page 75
Recipe by Kerrie Mullins
Cauliflower and Sorrel Soup
Recipe courtesy of Gordon Ramsay’s A Cook for All Season
- 1 large head cauliflower, stem discarded, florets chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups light chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 large sorrel leaves, stems trimmed, then shredded
- 2 tablespoons caviar (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the cauliflower florets, potato, and onion in a saucepan with the butter and oil. Heat gently and, when the contents start to sizzle, cover with a lid and sweat everything over a low heat for about 10 minutes. The vegetables should not be at all colored.
Add the stock and bring to a boil, then pour in the milk and return gently to a boil. (This way, there will be no scum forming in the milk.) Season to taste, then simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes when the vegetables should be soft.
Pour in half the cream, then puree in a food processor or blender, or blend in the pan with an immersion blender. Pass the puree through a sieve into a clean pan, rubbing with the back of a ladle.
Stir in the rest of the cream. Taste for seasoning and bring the soup to a boil. Ladle into soup plates, top with sorrel shreds, and add a spoonful of caviar to each. Serve.