Thursday, July 20, 2006

Spinach and Sorrel Chopped Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese

This was my first time trying sorrel, and I loved it!

At the Salt Lake farmer's market I purchased a ziploc bag full of pointed greens the farmer told me were sorrel. "The small leaves are good mixed with lettuce in a green salad," he told me. "It's delicious." Hmmmm. This sounded interesting. A new type of plant I hadn't written about yet for Weekend Herb Blogging

Just as she did with garlic scapes, The Chocolate Lady has inspired me to try a new flavor. Last week, she used her sorrel to make sorrel soup, which I learned is one of the most common uses of this somewhat sharp, but delightfully citrusy flavored leaf. Sorrel is a perennial herb, sometimes called sour duck or sour grass, and is grown as a leaf vegetable. It should not be confused with red sorrel, an invasive weed, which has small berries that are sometimes used to make tea. Sorrel is reportedly easy to grow, with a tendancy to self-seed that can be troublesome in some gardens. It can be a good salad addition for those who need to limit salt, since it provides a lot of flavor compared to many other salad greens.

I found many other recipes for sorrel soup online, often French in origin. When I searched for a recipe to use my sorrel leaves in a salad, one thing was clear, you should carefully select a dressing to complement the tangy flavor of the sorrel. I never found a recipe that I wanted to use, but did get inspiration from many sources to create the recipe for this salad. Just as with some other unusual ingredients I've tried, I loved the flavor of sorrel. To me it was just tangy enough without being overwhelming, and I thought the combination of this salad was just perfect. Of course, if you don't happen to have any sorrel around, you can still use this salad recipe with any combination of salad greens that strikes your fancy!

Spinach and Sorrel Chopped Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese 
(2 servings, original recipe by Kalyn)

2 large handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried
1 large handful young sorrel leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup toasted pecans
2 slices goat cheese (Chevre or Montrachet type), crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
2 T olive oil
pinch salt

Coarsely chop spinach and sorrel and combine in large mixing bowl. Put vinegar in small bowl and whisk in mustard and honey. Add olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing is well combined. Toast pecans in dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes over high heat, until barely starting to brown. Toss spinach and sorrel with dressing. Arrange on salad plates and sprinkle pecans and goat cheese over.

South Beach Suggestions:
This would be a perfect salad to serve with dinner for the South Beach Diet, and it's fancy enough to be served for guests without any suspicions that it's "diet food." I'd serve this with something like Janet's Mustard Chicken, Chicken and Asparagus with Curry Sauce, or Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight using The Glycemic Index partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. something new to me is the it like baby arugula in taste.......somewhat peppery?

  2. Doodles, sorrel is quite different from arugula, which I also love. It's not peppery, more of a sour/citrus flavor. The sources I read said the very young sorrel is milder and in the spring it isn't really that sour. I'd say it tastes a bit like lemony spinach. I thought it was a delightful flavor.

  3. Sorrel - never heard of it, but it sounds good.

    Haha on your comment about Blind Faith Cafe: I only knew it was a band because I read it on Citysearch prior to going there. Otherwise, you are right - it was before our time ;)


  4. Hi Kalyn,

    I'm so glad you tried the sorrel, and even more thrilled that I may have had somethiong to do with it! I think the pecans and goat cheese are a good idea for balancing the tartness.

  5. Steven, me too. Too bad you live so far away, I would invite you for dinner.

    Crystal, I loved Blind Faith. I was quite a rocker in my day.

    TCL, thanks for inspiring me to try so many great new tastes. This was fantastic. I agree, the cheese and pecans was perfect with the tart sorrel flavor.

  6. This is the first time I'm reading about sorrel. I love your recipe. Sounds very delicious and healthy.


  7. We have the "weedy" sorrel growing all over our place. It's supposed to be a nitrogen fixer for the soil. Too bad it's way too tart, it would be a readily available green for this yummy sounding salad!

  8. Beautiful salad Kalyn, I'm hoping to add some sorrel to my garden this year, come spring here downunder.

  9. Oh, those pictures are so pretty Kalyn! You captured the colors perfectly. Did you take that with your new camera?

  10. Paz, the sorrel tastes great.

    Christine, I read about that weed sorrel. Too bad.

    Bron, I'd be interested in hearing it it is easy to grow, since I like it so much.

    Sher, yes it's the new camera, which I LOVE. I"m still barely learning, but it's fun. (I got it at Costco, a real bargain.)

  11. Finally! Someone invites me over instead for dinner instead of inviting themselves over to my place! Thanks Kalyn!

  12. This is brand new for me, but it looks absolutely fabulous! You've never let me down yet! Thanks.

  13. Thanks, Leigh.

    Update for everyone. On Thursday I had two friends over for dinner. Neither is a particularly adventurous eater, but they both loved this (one did not like the goat cheese, but she loved the rest of the salad). I didn't have quite enough spinach to make three servings, so we had a mixture of spinach, romaine, and sorrel and that was fantastic too. It was about 1/2 romaine, 1/4 spinach, and 1/4 sorrel. The dressing was great on this blend of lettuce.

  14. From the sorrel soup often do :)


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