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(Rumex perennial)Sorrel may not be one of your must have plants initially, but once you’ve got your essentials underway, I urge you to consider this hardy herbaceous perennial. It will become a dependable, trouble-free plant to add a distinctive, zingy lemon flavour to salads, sauces and juices. It is widely used in French cuisine and takes its name from surelle, derived from sur, meaning ‘sour’ in French.


Its delightfully acid flavour was also enjoyed by the Romans, who used it to impart a sharpness to food. Sorrel’s clean flavour flits across the tongue, a perfect antidote to hearty winter flavours.

Common sorrel looks like spinach but the ends of the leaves are always pointed. There are several types of wild sorrel, buckler leaf sorrel, and lambs tongue sorrel which grows like a weed all over West Cork and is really delicious...

Sorrel is rich in vitamins C, A, B6 and B1, and iron, magnesium,potassium and many beneficial organic compounds.  It also contains a high amount of oxalic acid, which gives it its distinctive, sharp taste. Oxalic acid can be a toxin when consumed in high quantities so don’t overdose on it. Those with certain medical conditions, such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis or kidney disease, are best advised to consume sorrel in small quantities.


This is a recipe by
Darina Allen
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