Sorrel is a hardy perennial plant with long, spear-shaped leaves, which grows in uncultivated gardens and meadows in Romania.
The Romanian village world used to have a saying: ‘when sorrel unfurls its leaves from the warming ground in early spring, you are set for your daily meal’. Sorrel is a generous plant, its leaves are rich in vitamins and sorrel leaves can provide a good, nourishing meal especially after the winter season, either used in salads or cooked.
Sorrel is a hardy perennial plant with long, spear-shaped leaves, which grows in uncultivated gardens and meadows in Romania. Across Romania’s regions, sorrel has been given various local names, being used in salads, soups and meat dishes. In the Romanian traditional households, the sorrel root was used to obtain various dyes.
In the southern Romanian region of Oltenia, people traditionally prepare ‘sorrel dolls’, a quick recipe for the people tilling the land. For this recipe, you need to wash the sorrel leaves well and remove any tough stalks. The leaves are best shredded, but, for this recipe, you need to layer and roll them up into ‘fat cigars’ and then tie the leaves together with thread. Sprinkle the leaves with oil and fry, turning on each side. After cooking, remove the thread, place the leaves in a bowl, and add chopped cayenne pepper, and a thinly sliced carrot and onion previously boiled in salted water. This dish can be seasoned with a little vinegar.
Another quick sorrel recipe is the peasant sorrel omelette. For this recipe, besides sorrel leaves, you need a bunch of green onions, brined cheese, a bunch of parsley or dill and, of course, eggs. Wash the sorrel leaves well, and cut them into strips. Melt butter in a frying pan or use oil instead, dice the green onions and put them into the pan together with the sorrel leaves, the beaten eggs and the finely chopped parsley or dill, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with grated brined cheese.
Sorrel leaves are also used to make soup. For soup you need 20-30 sorrel leaves, one carrot, one onion, a bell pepper, a cup of rice, bors - which is the Romanian for the sour liquid obtained from fermented wheat bran, tomato paste and salt. Remove the sorrel leaves’ tough stocks, blanch and drain. Finely chop the carrot, onion and bell pepper and sauté them in oil. Add water and boil together with the sorrel leaves and a cup of rice. When almost cooked, add bors to the soup, which was previously boiled, two tablespoons of tomato paste and season with salt to taste. You can also season the soup with sour cream or add pieces of smoked gammon. Sorrel leaves can also be used in purees served as a side dish to steak. (tr. L. Simion)