Salmon With Sorrel Sauce

Salmon With Sorrel Sauce is a legendary French dish that pairs a citrusy, creamy sauce with salmon. Sorrel, a tender acidic green herb, has a bright and slightly tart flavor, similar to a lemon or a sour green apple. It cuts both the richness of the sauce and the salmon just the way a white wine like a Sancerre goes so nicely served with the meal.

Salmon With Sorrel Sauce, A True Classic
Salmon With Sorrel Sauce, A True Classic

Salmon With Sorrel Sauce

Serves two, adjust the recipe accordingly.

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 bunch sorrel leaves, washed, dried and stemmed
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 salmon filets 4 – 6 oz. each, skinned
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. oil, just enough to coat the pan
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Combine the shallots and wine in a saucepan and cook over medium high heat until the wine has become syrupy. Add the cream and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce and return to the pan. Tear the sorrel into small pieces and add to the cream. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, then simmer briefly just a minute or two (sorrel starts to turn dark if cooked too long). Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper just on the presentation side (skinned side). Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium hight heat, when hot add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, place the salmon presentation side (skinned side) down in the hot oil and sauté for about 4 minutes until the fish is well browned. Turn the salmon over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until just cooked through. Plate the salmon and top with some of the sorrel sauce.

****

When I came across some young, tender sorrel at our local farmer’s market, I knew exactly what I wanted to cook with it…the legendary Saumon à l’oseille that was made popular by the three star Michelin French chef Pierre Troigros. Chef Troigros served his salmon sliced very thin and presented on top of the sorrel sauce. My recipe is much less elegant and more typical of what you would find at a French bistro.

A few tips to share if you are going to prepare this recipe. It took longer to cook the sides of boiled baby Yukon gold potatoes and a stuffed tomato than it did to prepare the salmon and sauce so keep that in mind if preparing this recipe.  If you like creamed spinach, think of sorrel sauce as its very refined cousin. However, if sorrel is not available, you could substitute a bunch of fresh spinach leaves and add a little extra lemon juice for something with a similar flavor, just not quite as complex. This lemony flavored sauce pairs well with most fish but salmon is the most popular. The sauce is so good that you could easily enjoy spoonfuls by itself but save enough for this salmon dish or perhaps to top some sliced roast chicken and you will be rewarded for your restraint.

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239 thoughts on “Salmon With Sorrel Sauce

    1. Hi Lea Ann, two of the reasons I like this dish as well. I really believe you are going to like for flavor of sorrel. I appreciate the pin and compliment, thank you.

    1. Hi Kay, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe, thank you. As much as I enjoy eating in a 3* restaurant, I try to create dishes that I think everyone can prepare at home.

    1. Hi Jo, From my research, I believe it is called acetosa and acetina, acetosella, ossalina or erba brusca in Italian. I would think that you might find it in one of your fresh markets in the spring. I appreciate your nice compliments about how I describe flavors, thank you. I do hope you find the sorrel and that you will enjoy the recipe.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Judy, thank you. The stuffed tomato did go great with the salmon, I’m glad you like it. Sorrel is a very tender herb, your best bet for finding it will be at your local farmers market.

  1. sorrel is very difficult to find where I live but I certainly will look for it when spring arrives.This is certaily an appealing way to serve salmon and I would like to make this sauce for it. thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Jovina, The sorrel is so tender that a lot of markets don’t carry it but you should have luck at a farmers market or even your local plant nursery. Thank you for your lovely compliment about the meal.

  2. Hoping we can find some sorrel at the local market in New Smyrna Beach. Leave tomorrow for Florida. Your salmon looks beautiful and love the sides.

    1. Thank you Penny, for your nice compliment. I do hope you find the sorrel, I found it at the farmers market in Ft. Pierce. I hope you are enjoying being down here in Florida, the weather has been absolutely wonderful so far this winter.

  3. I am not a fan of salmon (I know it’s weird…), unless it’s a rarely found here wild catch, but I love sorrel and in general acid food. There is a popular Polish soup with sorrel and hard-boiled eggs I sometimes dream about… Haven’t had it for ages. I must make it now that sorrel will appear on market (well, “now” is a bit too optimistic but I’m looking forward for this winter to end…). Lovely looking, dish, Karen!

    1. It doesn’t sound weird to not be a fan of salmon, Sissi. I know that we have very similar tastes from all the recipes you have shared and I didn’t care for it for years but seeing how it was such a popular fish when we lived in New England. I decided that I needed to learn to like it and sauces topping the fish helped me learn to enjoy it. Yes, once your weather starts to become “spring like” you should have no trouble finding sorrel.

  4. Karen – when I made this in Paris for Christmas, I had only heard of the preparation (from a local restaurant) but never had it. I am glad to know the recipe I made up is pretty similar to the one you present.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m happy to know that you like the meal that I made, it turned out to be a nice combination of flavors. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  5. I haven’t had this dish in ages! And never made it. Sorrel is one of those things I rarely use, although I sometimes make sorrel soup. This looks SO good — thanks.

    1. Hi John, The classics need to be brought back from time to time…I’m glad you like the dish. I think sorrel is definitely an underused herb and sorrel soup is a great way of using it.

    1. Hi David, It is funny…I would think sorrel would be an herb you have tried before because of your inventive cooking. You must give it a try, I believe you will enjoy it.

      1. Sorry about that David. If you have a garden center nearby, you might check there. Otherwise, spinach and lemon creates the closest flavor.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything made with sorrel. I won’t be able to find it here in New England – so I appreciate your advising us we can use fresh spinach & a bit of lemon juice. And now, I have to check out a few other of your salmon recipes… after I ‘PIN’ this! ; o )

    1. Hi Cecile, If you can’t find sorrel this spring at a farmers market, it is a perennial herb that is easily grown in New England…it is very hardy. If not, the spinach and lemon will give you a similar flavor. I appreciate your checking out my other salmon recipes, thank you.

    1. Hi Boleyn, When spring weather has arrived in Canada check for sorrel at a farmers market. It is also an herb you might enjoy growing in your garden, it is very hardy.

  7. Oh Karen, your salmon dish with the sorrel sauce sounds wonderful. I have never tasted sorrel, but now I’d love to try it. Your description of the sauce sounds fabulous!

    1. Hi Kelli, My husband and I enjoyed this salmon dish. If you have gotten a chance to try it, I hope that you liked it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

      1. I did make it! But – we couldn’t find any sorrel in the store (and I’m afraid to get it in the wild – it’s not time yet said my mother-in-law to gathers things like that) so I used spinach and I swear it was really good! I made it Friday night – thanks for such a great recipe!

    1. Hi Liz, With our seasons being opposite, you might have to wait until your winter to spring to find the sorrel in Australia. I’m glad you like the salmon dish, it was delicious. Thank you.

    1. Hi Diane, You ought to try growing a little somewhere in your beautiful gardens, it is very hardy and the leaves of sorrel happen to be pretty. I think we spoil each other as my husband loves to cook as much as I do. 😀

    1. Thank you Chris, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you like the salmon recipe…it is one I will be repeating when I see sorrel at the market.

  8. Our local salmon season will arrive in a few short months. Bookmarking this luscious dinner recipe to try then! (BTW: I find sorrel at our farmers market. I have never seen it at the grocery store.)

    1. Hi Deb, It’s worth waiting to have this dish with your local salmon, it should be delicious. I’ve only seen sorrel at our farmers market as well. I think that its tender leaves might not ship well.

  9. This looks absolutely wonderful. I can’t get sorrel here in Mexico (yet), but I remember it well from when I lived in Paris. Lovely combined with the salmon.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Vicki. If you can’t find sorrel in Mexico, using spinach and a little extra lemon juice will give you a similar flavor. Kelli made it and let me know it was a good substitute.

  10. Oh Vicki, so would love my genie to send you some immediately! I was brought up on sorrel soup and the sauce is but a short memory away!! Up in the Baltics the soup was usually dressed with hardboiled eggs and I would have such huge, naughty fun making my hands go gorgeously smelly squeezing lemon halves!!

    1. Hi Kathryn, do check at your farmers market when your weather warms up a little. Sorrel is excellent with salmon and you certainly do have an abundance there in your area of the country.

  11. Lovely plate Karen. I have never tried Sorrel but will look for it soon. The spinach version of the sauce sounds great too – and of course I adore salmon so this will go on my list. It sounds so fancy and looks elegant – the perfect dish for company! Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you Tricia, I’m happy that you like the meal. It would indeed be a lovely meal to serve guests and the nice part is that it is an easy one to prepare.

  12. Oh la la! It looks delicious! I’ve never used sorrel, have to find it and give it a go. Salmon is one my faves and you have served it up perfectly, Karen! Interesting with the spinach/sorrel comparison. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Pam, I’m glad that you like the recipe. Yes, if you have a hard time finding sorrel, fresh baby spinach and a little extra lemon will give you a similar flavor. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

    1. You gave me a chuckle Judy, perhaps they do a little happy dance as no one has turned down an invitation. 😀 I’m glad you like the looks of this meal, it was really good. Thank you!

    1. I appreciate your visit and lovely compliment Patti. I’m glad that you enjoy my photos and recipes. I do hope you will enjoy the spaghetti squash…my husband loves it. It is always a pleasure stopping by your blog. 🙂

    1. Hi Sheryl, Florida’s farmers markets have an earlier season but when spring arrives in your area, check your local market for sorrel. I do think you would like the herb.

    1. Thank you for stopping by for a visit Linda and your sweet compliment. I wasn’t a big fan of salmon until we moved to New England years ago. It was such a popular fish there that I made myself keep trying it and now I like it. My suggestion is always have a sauce with it and make sure it isn’t overcooked or it will be dry.

    1. Hi Mollie, I appreciate your nice compliment and I’m happy you like the recipe. Yes Kelli tried substituting spinach and a little extra lemon and really liked the sauce. Now as to that sorrel you’ve seen in the woods…are you into foraging?

      1. I used to be when I was younger, but every now and then I still come across something special when I’m out nosing around the woods with my dog. I’m very excited for next summer because I found wild plums & wild grapes along the river near my folks house!

    1. Hi Gerlinde, Everyone says that sorrel is very easy to grow and that is very hardy. I’m glad to know you have it growing in your garden. I do hope you like the dish as much as we did and thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. I appreciate your lovely compliment Julie, thank you. Each component of the dish really complemented each other well, I’m glad you like the looks of it.

    1. HI Deb, My husband and I thought this salmon was delicious, I hope you will give it a try. I’m happy to know that you and Joe enjoyed the beef short ribs recipe. Thank you for letting me know, I appreciate that. 😀

    1. Hi Julie, Another of my readers that are growing sorrel in their gardens…yea! If you haven’t tried this sauce yet, I do believe you would enjoy it.

    1. Hola Rosita, estoy feliz de saber que el salmón es uno de sus peces favoritos. Creo que usted gozaría de esta receta si el alazán está disponible en su área. Si no, puede usar espinacas y un poco de limón. Thank you for stopping by, it was nice hearing from you. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, Sorry to be answering your comment late, I just found it in my spam file. I’m glad you like the recipe. You will find that many of my recipes are for two, as they are what I’m actually preparing for my husband and I. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  13. Oooo, love all the flavors going on in your dish Karen, but I’ve never cooked with sorrel, so I’m intrigued. Of course anything salmon always catches my eye anyway, will hopefully be trying this soon, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Loretta, Once winter has passed in your area, do check for sorrel at your local farmers market…we have an early growing season here in Florida. Since you like salmon, I believe you will really enjoy this recipe. Thank you for your lovely compliment, it is much appreciated.

    1. Thank you Beth, for your nice compliment. Yes, when I say the sorrel at the farmers market I bought it and headed directly to our local seafood store…I definitely knew what I was cooking. 😀

  14. I’ve never had sorrel, but I like your description of being slightly acidic and tart. It would go beautifully with the salmon. Such a great meal, on that plate!

    1. Hi Loreto and Nicoletta, I appreciate your nice compliment. Yes, sorrel makes a delicious sauce to serve with salmon because of it being slightly acidic and having a lemony tart flavor, I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  15. Hi Karen, I’d never heard of sorrel before and after a quick search I’ve learned that it grows abundantly and “wild” in Ireland. I think it is similar to dock? I’ll have to investigate it further, and give it a try. We *love* salmon and it is good to have different ways to serve it. Thanks for the “something new”!

    1. Hi Dana, Isn’t it interesting all the things we learn through our blogging friends and Mr. Google. I’ve learned a lot more about sorrel as so many of my readers aren’t familiar with it. I’m suggesting that growing a patch of sorrel in an herb garden would be great. Yes, from what I understand sorrel is also called dock. I’m glad you like the recipe, the sauce was a wonderful addition to the salmon.

    1. Hi Annie, I’m happy to give you a little nudge, salmon is a fish we should all include in our diets a little more often. Thank you for your nice comment.

  16. What a fun recipe, Karen! I’ve heard of sorrel, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with it…come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever even had it. I clearly need to check it off the list though because this dish sounds incredible! 🙂

    1. Hi Claudia, I appreciate your stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad you like the recipe and yes, it is a simple dish to prepare.

    1. Hi Judi, It doesn’t surprise me that you haven’t grown sorrel, not many of my readers have. I believe that this is a salmon dish that you would enjoy.

  17. Salmon is my favorite fish and I eat it a few times a week for lunch. Would love to try it with this sorrel sauce for dinner. I just emailed my contact at our favorite local farm to see where I can find it fresh where I live. I’ll have to grow it in my herb garden this year if can’t get it at a farm. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Karrie, I’m happy to know that you like this recipe, thank you. My husband and I used to live in southern New Hampshire until a year ago and I don’t recall seeing sorrel at the farmers markets. I did see it at the garden center so growing it is indeed an option. It is a hardy perennial and should do well in your area.

    1. Hi Inger, When spring arrives in your area, check your local farmers market for sorrel. The herb goes so in the sauce paired with salmon…I think you will enjoy it.

  18. What a wonderful dish. I love sorrel and sorrel sauce is delicious. I don’t cook with sorrel all that often as it’s not an ingredient that’s on my radar. Thanks for bringing it back into focus xx

    1. Hi Cathleen, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. This really is an easy recipe to make, I do hope you give it a try…we thought it was delicious.

    1. Hi Didi, It seems that this is an under appreciated herb and it doesn’t seem to be grown by that many people. I’m glad you like it as well as this recipe, thank you.

    1. Hi Eva, With your winter weather, I think you will probably have to wait to find sorrel at your farmers markets this spring. It definitely is the perfect herb to use with salmon.

  19. Karen, sounds marvelous! I’ve thought off and on over the years of planting sorrel, and then I forget about it. That does it! When I revive my herb garden, sorrel is at the top of the list! (And thanks for the tip about freezing sesame seeds. I keep my sunflower seeds in the freezer, but for some reason never thought to put my sesame seeds in there!)

    1. Thank you Jean, I’m glad that you like the salmon with sorrel sauce. I do think you would enjoy having sorrel in your garden for cooking. Yes, I keep all my nuts and seeds in the freezer so that they don’t go rancid. 🙂

    1. I’m happy that you like the recipe Donald. It is nice you have a good farmers market that carries the herb. I appreciate your nice compliment, thank you.

  20. I don’t think I’ve noticed sorrel before, thanks for suggesting the substitute. This really sounds like a very delicious sauce. I am wondering how it did not curdle though?

    1. Hi Amira, Yes spinach will work in this recipe if you can’t find sorrel at your farmers market. As to your question, you will notice that the recipe calls for heavy cream and that after the lemon is added, the sauce is only simmered for a minute. You shouldn’t have a problem with curdling using full fat cream and a low temperature…hope that helps.

  21. Oh my goodness, Karen, this looks divine. Salmon is my very favourite dish and the addition of sorrell leaves is perfect. I will see sorrell in the farmer’s market in a couple months – can’t wait to experiment with this. A glass of wine on the deck with this dish would be heaven!

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Robyn, I’m happy to know you like the dish I prepared. 🙂 With our mild winters, sorrel appears earlier in our famers market than most areas of our country…yes, it should be available in most areas in a couple of months.

  22. This looks so lovely and delicious. I have not eaten sorrel I’m not sure it’s even available here in Queensland:). I guess you are in the US? We have a New England too in Australia.

    1. Thank you for your compliment, Sherry. Yes, one of my readers says she grows sorrel in her Australian garden. You might ask your farmers market about it…I would think in springtime in your area. Yes, I live in the US in Florida. We moved here from New England last year. I didn’t know there was also a New England in Australia, thanks for letting me know. That is what is nice about our blogging community, we learn something new every day.

    1. Hi Lorraine, It appears that sorrel is somewhat elusive in many parts of the world. Eha says she grows it in her garden there in Australia so yes, you might check at a farmers market when spring arrives in your part of the world. Thank you for your nice compliment about the salmon with sorrel sauce, I’m glad you like the dish. 🙂

  23. I’ve never used sorrel in any dishes, but I love tart, lemony flavors so I know I would love this sauce! I will have to buy some sorrel and try this!

    1. Hi Nancy, After posting this recipe, I’m been surprised that most of my readers have not tried this lemony herb. I know you enjoy gardening, perhaps you could grow a pot of sorrel if you can’t find it at your local farmers market.

  24. I will have to try to find sorrel, it’s not at my supermarket. Maybe the farmer’s market. Your description of the flavor is something I would love. Thanks for the recipe, it sounds and looks delicious!

    1. Hi Emily, Yes I think the farmers market will be your best bet, that is where I bought mine. I’m happy to know that you like the recipe, I think you would enjoy it. Thank you.

  25. Hi Karen – I was completely ignorant of sorrel, bot no more! Thanks for the education. This dish looks superb, I imagine it’s something I’d find on the menu at my favorite eclectic downtown restaurant, Cotton. This is a beautiful salmon dish – yum!

    1. Hi Allie, I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the post on sorrel and thank you for your lovely compliment. Cotton…yes, we went once or twice to the restaurant with friends.

    1. Thank you Fran, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and the recipe. Yes, Michel is carrying in the wonderful restaurant. We wanted to go there the last time we were in that area of France but the restaurant was closed when we were there. Perhaps on another visit.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Pam, I’m happy you like the salmon. Check at your local farmers market for the sorrel. If not, you could plant a pot of the herb, it should grow really well in your area.

  26. This is such a great recipe! I have sorrel in garden (well, not right now, but in spring and summer) but I never use it much. Now I know what to do with it!

    1. Hi Adina, I’m glad that to know that you have sorrel in your garden during the warmer months. I’m happy that I was able to supply you with a recipe using it.

  27. pretty sure i’ve never tasted sorrel, but i could be wrong. chefs sneak things into dishes all the time! love the look of that sauce; this is a fantastic meal.

    1. Hi Pam, If you can find sorrel at the local farmers market, you should definitely give it a try. It certainly goes well with salmon. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. I appreciate your lovely compliment Liz, thank you. I’m glad that you like the meal that I prepared. Yes, we thought the baked tomato was a nice accompaniment to the salmon.

  28. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a sorrel sauce. I know I’ve never made one. It looks easy if you can find the sorrel. It’s on my list now to try to find, because it sounds so good with salmon! Thanks for something new.

    1. Hi MJ, Once your weather has warmed up, I would think you might find sorrel at your local farmers market. The sauce is one I think you will enjoy, especially with salmon.

  29. Love French cuisine – it looks delicious! Great tip to substitute the sorrel for spinach if it is not available!

  30. It is a legendary dish and one I love. It is hard to get sorrel here but when I see it i snap it up quick smart. when I was a kid it used to grow in the neighbours lawn. they were from the Ukraine and taught me how to eat it.

    1. Hi Tania, Yes, this truly is a classic dish and one I’m happy you enjoy as much as I do. Sorrel is an easy herb to grow, I hope many of my readers will give it a try if they have a little spot in their garden.

    1. Hi Monica, I believe you would enjoy the citrusy flavor that sorrel adds to the sauce. It works wonderfully with salmon. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  31. Hi Karen, not sure how I missed this magnificent meal. Salmon is my favorite and I bet it is wonderful paired with sorrel. Last year I grew sorrel and loved it, never thought to pair it like this. Hope you are having a wonderful New Year.

  32. My cousin’s grandmother in France used to make sorrel soup for us very often (with potatoes, onions, thyme and laurel and much sorrel.) Here in Georgia I have not seen fresh sorrel but I just bought some dry one from Penzey’s spices. I wonder if it would be as tasty and how much to use in the sauce?

    1. Hi Vagabonde, The soup you are describing sounds like it was delicious. You might want to check your dried sorrel as I think it might be Jamaican sorrel. Be careful not to confuse sorrel (Rumex acetosa) with roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which is known as Jamaican sorrel or Guinea sorrel as they are two different plants. If it is Jamaican sorrel, it is often used to make a popular drink. You might want to do some investigating as I saw nothing on Penzey’s sight about sorrel. Hope that helps.

  33. Hi Ksenia, Yes…salmon with sorrel sauce is a true classic. I was so happy when I found sorrel at our farmers market as I’ve wanted to make this dish for a long time.

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