the world is in the midst of its re-greening! I love walking through the yard each day to see what new plants are up and reminding myself which ones are nicely munchy and which are best for just looking at. One of my recent favorite spring greens is curly or yellow dock.
According to my trusty Peterson's Guide to Edible Wild Plants this incredibly common wild plant is good in both salads and as a cooked green. Peterson also says that the plant is high in both protein and Vitamin A. I've never personally used dock in a salad. The leaves can be bitter so it's a good idea to do a taste test before deciding how you want to use them. My favorite way to use this nutritious "weed" is in soup. A few years ago I came across a potato/dock soup recipe that I have since amended to suit my own needs.
Start by cutting up a bunch of potatoes, enough that you'll have plenty of leftover soup. That way you don't need to cook for a couple of days!
Throw them in a large pot with plenty of water so that you end up with lots of broth. While you're at it, chop up an onion or two and throw them in for extra flavor. Now, go outside in your yard and find a good bunch of curly dock. Rinse the greens and cut them up into medium large pieces. When the potatoes are cooked to a desirable softness, add the chopped greens. Now here's the secret ingredient that I worked out one day that I did not have milk to cream up a potato soup.
Avgolemono is a wonderful Greek invention that adds both tartness and creaminess to soups. I just love it! It's too simple for words. Just squeeze a lemon and strain out the seeds, beat an egg into it, and add it slowly to your simmering soup pot!
Once you stir in your avgoemono and add salt and pepper to taste the soup is ready to serve.
Slurp it up along with a thick slice of whole wheat bread. But be careful of going back for seconds right away. Peterson's guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs says that the root can have either constipatory or diarrheal effects depending on the plant and its environs, so go easy on your first attempt. These effects appear to extend into the leaves as well. But please don't let that stop you from consuming this wonderful spring tonic plant!