You may have seen this common weed in your garden and mistaken it for clover. But while both have compound leaves with three leaflets, the leaflets of wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta) are heart-shaped, while those of clover are oval-shaped and usually bare white or pale green chevrons. If you taste wood sorrel you may be pleasantly surprised by a burst of tart lemony flavour. The sour taste comes from oxalic acid (the same constituent that makes rhubarb sour) which is found in many other green vegetables such as broccoli and kale. Eaten in high amounts, oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium and can be toxic. It is best avoided by people with rheumatic ailments such as gout or arthritis and kidney stones. However, used sparingly, wood sorrel's mild lemon flavour can be added to fresh salads, used to flavour a lovely summer soup, as a condiment to fish, a delicious fresh pesto or a light snack while gardening. As with most sour fruits and vegetable, wood sorrel is very high in vitamin C and can be used to quench thirst while on a hike in the woods.
Since the weather was so hot this week, we decided to make a fresh sorrel sauce to go along with our cucumber salad. For this recipe, we picked about a cup of wood sorrel.
We added a few chives (but you can use any allium of your choice, including shallots, onions or garlic).
And a few sprigs of cilantro from our garden.
We placed everything in a food processor with about three tablespoons of organic full fat greek yogurt.
Once blended up, the mixture is a bright green. We added salt to taste.
The sauce tastes tart and lemony, and goes well with fish or in a simple salad. You can serve immediately, but we like to keep this sauce in the fridge overnight, to let the flavours develop.
We made a lovely crisp summery salad by chopping up some cucumber and covering it in sorrel sauce. We added chive and sorrel flowers (which are both edible) as a garnish.
- 1 cup sorrel
- handful of chives
- a few sprigs of cilantro
- 3 tbsp plain organic full fat greek yogurt
- rinse herbs and put them in a food processor with the yogurt
- blend until smooth, and the sauce is a bright green colour
- add salt to taste
- optional: let sit in a sealed container in the fridge overnight, allowing flavours to develop
- pour over your dish of choice!
- (in the above photo, we chopped up some cucumber, added our sorrel sauce and garnished with chive and sorrel flowers)