What is sorrel and how do you grow it?

What is sorrel? And how do you grow it, or find it? Here’s a simple guide on how to grow and harvest sorrel, plus three great recipes for using it in your kitchen.

What is sorrel and how do you grow it?

What does sorrel taste like?
Raw young sorrel leaves look very similar to spinach or dock leaves and have a fresh, lemony flavour. In fact, sorrel is sometimes called ‘spinach dock’. Its botanical name is Rumex acetosa.

How to grow sorrel
You can grow sorrel from seed, but it’s quicker to buy a ready-grown plant. Plant in late spring and place in light shade, away from the midday sun. Water it regularly and feed throughout the season.

How to harvest sorrel
Pick leaves throughout the season as required. If flowers appear, pinch them off to prevent plants running to seed. Sorrel is a perennial herb, so it should regrow year after year.

How to eat sorrel
It makes a wonderful addition to spring and summer salads, due to its citrusy flavour, as well as hot and cold sauces and soups. Check out some of our favourite recipes using this special, seasonal herb.

Our favourite sorrel recipes

Sorrel soup with cream cheese toasts

Showcase sorrel in all its gorgeous green glory by making this simple soup recipe. You don’t have to serve it with the cream cheese toasts (good crusty bread would work just as well here) but they’re ever so easy to make and take the whole dish to new heights.

Escalopes of salmon with sorrel sauce

Rick Stein tops grilled salmon with a butter sauce and a sprinkle of sorrel to cut through the richness. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes to make!

Hot smoked trout and green butter

Flavoured butters are so easy to make and are endlessly versatile. Serve this recipe for sorrel butter with crisp bread and smoked trout for a simple spring starter. Or, check out our guide for more flavoured butter ideas (including how to make your own butter).

sorrel butter

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