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What: “A weed that has flavor,” says chef Dennis Marron from Penn Quarter’s Poste Moderne Brasserie, when asked to describe sorrel. “It tastes like under-ripe kiwi with a little bit of funkiness to it.” Marron looks to sorrel to add complexity to dishes. Its sour-bitter taste provides an acidic flavor different from vinegar or lemon juice. 

How to Buy: We found red-veined sorrel for $5 a bunch at Endless Summer Harvest, which vends at the Penn Quarter, Dupont, and Arlington Courthouse markets. It’s more commonly found in the all-green variety. Check for healthy, undamaged leaves, like you would with lettuce. When using the green raw, look for younger, smaller plants.

How to Cook: Marron suggests making sorrel the start of an herb-heavy salad with mint, basil, chervil, parsley, celery greens, and mixed lettuces. (Avoid pairing it with bitter greens like radicchio.) Dress with a honey vinaigrette to compliment the bitterness of the sorrel. For a main-course variation, top the salad with a poached egg and bacon.

Photo by Phoebe Connelly