June 26, 2012

Strawberry-Sorrel Crisp

sorrel | strawberry

Sorrel is a green with a serious identity issue. Is it an herb or a veggie? Is it savory or sweet? It always keeps you guessing. Sorrel is multifaceted and that's what I love about it. How many greens can be used for both dessert and dinner? I mean, I like kale as much as the next cook, but there's no way I'm making a kale cobbler.


One bite of a sorrel leaf and you'll understand what I mean. You go into it thinking it's going to be green and leafy tasting, maybe even bitter. But then you're sucker-punched by the most mouth-puckering sourness. I find munching on a raw sorrel leaf more tart than sucking on a lemon wedge. Not that I am in the habit of doing either.

strawberries | sorrel

In many ways, sorrel's flavor matches that of rhubarb, which is also a pretty multitalented veggie that I always see in both sweet and savory dishes. Lately, I've seen lots of sweet red strawberries at the market, and often sharing the table are bunches of vibrantly green sorrel leaves. Using the trusty transitive property - that's right, dropping some Algebra knowledge - I figured out that strawberry and sorrel would be perfect for each other. Since strawberry and rhubarb are a match made in heaven, and rhubarb is reminiscent of sorrel, it must mean that strawberry and sorrel would be a dynamic duo.

strawberries | skillet

Thank you 10th grade Algebra, because that equation worked out perfectly. So glad I paid attention that day.

crisp topping
What you'll need:
1 pint fresh strawberries {yielding around 3 cups sliced}
1 small bunch fresh sorrel {around 8-10 leaves)
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch

For the topping:
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Trim the tops from the strawberries. Cut the strawberries into slices about 1 inch thick.
Remove the ribs from the sorrel leaves and discard.
Stack the sorrel leaves, a few at a time. Roll the stack into a cigar shape and run your chef's knife down the length of it, chiffonading the sorrel leaves into ribbons.
Toss the ribbons of sorrel and strawberry slices into a bowl with the sugar.
Let them macerate for 20 minutes or so.

While waiting for the strawberries/sorrel/sugar to do its thing, get the topping ready.
Melt the butter over low heat.
Once melted, combine the butter with both sugars and salt. Stir to incorporate.
Add the oats and flour to this mix. Stir  - the mixture should start to resemble crumbly, wet sand.
Set aside.

After 20-30 minutes, the strawberries will have released some juices. To combat an over-watery crisp, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour or cornstarch over the strawberry/sorrel mixture and gently stir to soak up the juices and thicken the filling.

Spoon the filling into either individual ramekins or mini-cast iron skillets.
Use your hand to crumble the topping over the top of the filling. I'm big on crisp topping, so I am a bit heavy handed, but you can add as thick or thin of a layer as you'd like.

Place the ramekins or skillets on a sheet pan and slide the sheet pan into the middle of the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the strawberries and sorrel are soft and bubbly and the top is golden brown.

You may need more or less sugar for the filling, depending on how naturally sweet your strawberries are.
This amount is good for 2 portions served in mini-skillets that are 5' in diameter.

strawberry | sorrel crisp


  1. Ooo I love sorrel! I want a slice of that :)

  2. Beautiful. Beautiful. I'm going to gfree & veganize this, which should be very easy to do.

  3. I'm drooling over this. You always amaze with your recipes. I might try this later.


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