09 April 2010

Smiffy's Herbal: French Sorrel

OK, mystery solved. Quite a few people helped me to identified this delicious little beauty.

After researching everyone's ideas, I confirmed that this is French Sorrel, also known as Rumex scutatus, buckerleaf sorrel, or garden sorrel.
It is primarily a culinary herb, beloved of the French (hence French Sorrel). The part used is the young leaf (like many herbs, it grows bitter with age). It is commonly found in salads, egg dishes, soups, and as a flavouring with fish or in soup.

It's a cleansing herb when eaten fresh in the spring, with a tart, fresh, lemony flavour.

Be aware that, like spinach, sorrel contains oxalic acid and should be eaten in moderation if raw. It might also be best to avoid it entirely if you are suffering from arthritis or kidney disease.
When cultivated, sorrel takes 60 days from seed to salad and is a perennial. It must be used fresh.

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