Sorrel (common)

Rumex acetosa

Also known as garden sorrel, spinach dock or narrow-leaved dock. Not to be confused with arum, a toxic plant that resembles it.

The story…

Sorrel grows in Europe, Central Asia and North Africa; it has also been naturalized in North America and Oceania. It is very common in grasslands and is even considered a weed. It thrives in soils with a slightly acidic pH or equilibrium, and in the garden it favours the presence of butterflies. It is used in many cuisines around the world: in France, the salmon escalope in sorrel sauce, invented by the Troisgros brothers, is an emblematic dish of Nouvelle Cuisine. The term sorrel derives from the Latin acidula, acidulated (by crossing with the Greek name for sorrel, oxalis), and refers to the characteristic flavour of the plant.

Utilisation

Nutritional value

Sorrel is rich in iron, vitamin C (which improves iron assimilation), vitamin E and magnesium, as well as other minerals. It is recommended for people suffering from iron deficiency (often the case of women during menstruation) and possibly anemia. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help prevent certain cardiovascular and age-related diseases. Cooked with fish, it dissolves small bones and makes the calcium they contain available. It also has a low carbohydrate content, which makes it recommended for diabetics.

Preparation

Prefer young, green and firm, freshly picked leaves. Preferably eat raw to preserve the vitamins, for example in salads. Remove the central vein, which is filamentous.

Precautions

Contraindicated (in large quantities) for people suffering from liver and kidney disorders, gout, rheumatism and arthritis, because of its high oxalic acid content. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

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