Farm and Garden / Recipes

Fish with Sorrel Cream Sauce

Sorrel is one of the first spring greens to appear in the garden!  I have a wonderful little herb bed right outside my front door.  Which is where the herb bed should be, really, as close to the kitchen as possible!  The sorrel has been hanging out there for a few weeks now, just waiting for us to figure out what to do with it. Sorrel has a fairly strong lemony taste.  It’s good added to a green salad in moderate amounts, and is good in soups or with eggs.

This time I combined it with chives, also ready very early in the spring, and some fresh beet greens from the first farmers’ market of the year, to create one of the first garden-fresh dinners of the season!


  • 1 bunch sorrel
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 6 shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • fish (we used Steelhead, a Northwestern delicacy that looks like salmon but is actually trout!)
  • bed of fresh or cooked greens for serving.  We used steamed beet greens but thought about spinach.

Heat the broiler and broil fish on a pan with salt and pepper, until done.

Meanwhile make the sauce. Chop sorrel, chives, and shallots.   Melt butter in a pan.  I found an old NPR story (I research my articles, people) that says DON’T use cast iron to cook sorrel.  Apparently it turns it black and makes it taste bad!  Saute shallots until softened.  Add herbs, stir a couple of times, then add the cream and heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Steam greens or put fresh greens on a plate.  Arrange fish on greens and top with sauce.  Delicious!

Here are my sorrel and chives, before picking!  Like lettuce and many herbs, these will grow back after cutting.  You could plant sorrel or chives in your garden now, using a plant from a greenhouse, and they will come back to your garden every year.  My oregano is peeking up too, you could plant that now, as well as cilantro, parsley, fennel, sage, and thyme!  All except for the cilantro are perennial and will come back next year, as long as you have a good, sunny spot.  Store-bought herbs, even farmers’ market herbs, can’t match the ones growing outside your front door.  If you’re only going to plant one thing this year, I recommend a few herbs.

— Katie


4 thoughts on “Fish with Sorrel Cream Sauce

  1. I’ve had sorrel in my garden for three years, but haven’t figured out a good use for it. For a couple weeks I’ve been telling myself I need to use some this year. Thanks! Maybe tonight I’ll harvest some more of my spinach and some of my chives and give this a go.

    • I also agree with your comments about growing herbs. When I talk to folks who want to start a garden, I always suggest starting with herbs. Not only are they pretty easy to grow, but the payoff is huge. You can incorporate them easily into your regular cooking routine, or use them as you develop a cooking routine. And the taste of some fresh rosemary or thyme simply can’t be be beat!

  2. Katie, your great grandmother used to cook with sorrel. I remember my mom telling me how they had to pick it for soup. During the 1970’s there was an article in “Gourmet” magazine regarding the picking of sorrel in and around Forest City. It suggested writing to the Forest City News and obtaining seeds. Unfortunately, we can’t find a copy of the article.
    Cousin Helen

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