Food Information


Leafy Greens


Long a staple in French cooking, tart-flavored sorrel has attracted quite a few fans in the United States as well. The smooth, bright green, arrow-shaped leaves taste like spinach-but sharper, with a lemon tang. And like spinach, sorrel is good both raw and cooked. Sorrel wilts after picking, but it retains its characteristic tartness even when wilted.

Sorrel is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and also provides fiber and iron. One cup of raw sorrel has only about 12 calories.Select young, fresh looking leaves that are free of blemishes.

Allow 1/4 to 1/3 pound per person.

Wrap, unwashed, in paper towels. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 2 days. Remove and discard tough stems and mid-ribs. To wash, plunge into a large quantity of cold water; lift out and drain. Chop or tear into bite-size pieces; or stack leaves and cut into shreds.

Heat causes sorrel's color to fade quickly.

Butter-steaming. Coarsely shred sorrel leaves. Butter-steam up to 5 cups lightly packed leaves, using 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Then cover and cook just until leaves are wilted (2 to 3 more minutes).

Use tender sorrel leaves in place of lettuce in hamburgers or hot or cold meat and cheese sandwiches. Offer finely shredded or chopped sorrel in tacos and tostadas, tuck it into a luncheon omelet with chopped green onions and sauteed mushrooms, or stir it into your favorite gazpacho before chilling. Toss in a salad as you would spinach, using a sweet-sour dressing.

Available July through October.

Deamer 5/97