curly dock recipes

Curly Dock Cream Sauce

God has given us so many wild foods that we’ve slowly lost touch with.  One that grows abundantly in our area is Curly Dock, Rumex crispus. It grows heartily anywhere it’s given a chance and all parts can be eaten.  Leaves are the most common part used, but the seeds and stems have uses of their own also.  There are several varieties of Dock, but Curly Dock is far less bitter and has a nice lemony taste when leaves are picked young. In the picture above, the young, slightly rolled leaves towards the middle of the plant are the perfect age for eating.  Identify curly dock by its wavy, curly edges on slender, wedge shaped leaves that grow in a rosette pattern.   Once mature, it can reach heights of 1 to 3 feet and produces spikes of small greenish flowers that look more like cluster of seeds than flowers. These turn a burgandy-brown color as it goes to seed.   Cook the leaves like spinach and substitute in any recipe where a lemony flavor would fit. The following recipe goes well over baked chicken or fish and can be made with Sheep Sorrell, Rumex acetosella leaves also.

Curly Dock Cream Sauce:

About 2 cups young Dock leaves, packed lightly

3 Tablespoons Butter 

¾ Cup Heavy Cream

⅛ Cup chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper to taste 

Wash, then chop or thinly slice the dock leaves.  Put them in a small pot with the butter and saute until tender, then stir in the chicken or vegetable stock.  Slowly stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat and serve.  Add more or less stock depending on how thick you want the sauce. *Dock leaves are pretty acidic, so removing a few tablespoons of the saute to stir into a little of the cream first will help keep it from curdling. (like you would do when making pudding or tomato soup)

Add onions, garlic etc. to the saute stage for a depth of flavor.

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