Sorrel is a tangy summer herb with leaves similar in size to spinach but with a distinctive lemony taste. It was introduced to North America from Europe, Asia & Scandinavia where it has a long culinary history. Many different countries have a tradition of using sorrel in their ethnic dishes. From spanakopita in Greece to Toor Dal in India & green borscht in Russia & Ukraine. This herb can be used in sauces, stews & soups or added to salads. In Nigeria they even make a drink called Zobo, or sorrel squash from it!
With high levels of vitamins A, B9 & C as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals, sorrel is a nutritional powerhouse. In combination with other herbs, it can be used for sinus inflammation causing congestion & headache. Sorrel also contains high levels of oxalic acid which can aggravate gout and kidney stones; those suffering from these afflictions should avoid consuming sorrel. Large amounts of oxalic acid can be toxic, so be sure not to consume too much.
Sorrel is not usually found at the grocery store, but our farmers market will likely yield sources. It is also an easy to grow garden herb that can be started around this time. It grows well from seed, so get your window box going! Start now and you’ll be able to put this herby quinoa salad on the dinner table in no time!
*Due to its high levels of oxalic acid, sorrel is also poisonous to dogs- just as with rhubarb leaves for the same reason. Be sure to keep it growing out of reach of furry friends.
½ pound baby carrots with tops
1¼ cups quinoa
2½ cups water
½ pound sweet green onions, chopped into ½-inch sections, including green tops
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1½ ounces (about 2 cups) fresh sorrel leaves, cut crosswise into ribbons
1 ounce (about ¾-1 cup) fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 ounces (½ bunch) flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°. Clean and trim carrots. Spread on a baking sheet misted with olive oil spray. Roast until carrots pierce easily with a fork, about 1 hour. Salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse quinoa very well. Place in a pot with 2½ cups water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, sauté green onions in olive oil over medium heat, until the sting has cooked out, about 10 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, sorrel, basil, and parsley. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and let herbs just wilt in the warm quinoa. Transfer to a serving dish and top with carrots and pine nuts.