Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yummy weeds

Behold, the humble pokeweed:

This volunteer weed pops up in our backyard every summer. It also grows prolifically in Texas and Oklahoma, where I grew up, and there I used to eat it cooked as greens. The smaller, tenderer leaves are best, and you want to avoid the berries. Granddad says that when he was a kid in southern Oklahoma during the Depression, they also sliced up the stems and fried them like okra. Poke sallet (as I always heard it referred to) has a strong flavor, stronger than collards, and needs to be boiled in a couple of waters to be best. Cooked with salt pork and served with pinto beans and cornbread, there's nothing more completely humble and down-home and just plain good.

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