Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pokeweed scramble

It just kills me to cook a green three times. The death of  a vegetable. But I obeyed all the admonitions about pokeweed, later learning that many Southerners won't go overboard with the flash boiling. Next time. Also I could have kept some of the young greens.

I stuck to basics and tradition, employing pig and eggs in the skillet, and turned this onto pillowy slices of Wonderbread once the eggs were barely cooked. In my defense, I had bought the chemical loaf to satisfy an earlier craving for toasted cheese sandwiches...

After stripping the thin membrane from the young, all-green stalks I chopped them into two inch pieces, blanched them three times in changes of water, and cooked them about three minutes on the last boil. I nibbled some pieces, waiting for my throat to seize up and the death rattle to develop as I gasped instructions to Vince about feeding the cat. Nothing happened. So I cooked some pancetta, about four strips each, added two cups of pokeweed, stirred, squeezed a little lemon over, grated on some parmesan and cracked in an egg each. Stir, done, eat.

Not the prettiest food I ever cooked, but it tasted good, hm hm hm. Even the Frenchie approved, wolfing his, while trying hard not to think that I had foraged it from an old garbage dump.

Prettiest dump I ever saw.


  1. Poke salad (not salat in Tennessee) is one of those things that I grew up hearing about, but never actually knew anyone who ate it. I would have said that it was cooked a long time with pork, like other greens. [think collards or kale cooked to death.] Had no idea it was the stems that one eats!

    Don't think I will actually try it this year, but maybe next. The hard part is that to me it's a WEED. Not sure I can eat a weed....

  2. fascinating. actually i thought it was poison. i love weeds and sometimes use them to make medicines and tinctures. pokeweed root can be used for a tincture but if you take too much it is poison.

    this is a new way to use it to me. i noticed plenty of pokeweed growing by the roadside on my last walk.

  3. webb - I look forward to next year's stems. They really were worthwhile.

    suki - if it is red it is poisonous. Do not eat big red stems, mature leaves or the berries. Never eat it raw...


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