Dock with Bacon and Onions
As you might well imagine, I've been dying to get my game on with foraging. I've been out on my bike, watching, waiting, tick tock, for weeks now. Part of the problem is that the plants are just emerging (and you know, snow and freezing temps, yada yada). But also there's the problem that the plants which emerged first are located in spots where they are not safe to eat.
See the dock (Rumex crispus) in the picture? That particular bunch of dock is seated next to a well-travel dog path, and below an apartment complex; in other words, not good eats. But every day as I ride past this dock plant, its near-perfect leaves taunt and tantalize me. For some strange reason, the dock plants growing in safe areas are only an inch or two long and already bug-eaten. But as I'd tell any man who asked, size doesn't matter (~wink~), and I'm not afraid of bug-eaten produce.
Don't worry, for the past six days, with a little persistence, I've been able to scrounge up enough dock for dinner. Yep, we've had dock with our meal every night for almost a week now. And nobody is complaining. In fact, there never seems to be enough.
This is seasonal, local food at it's best. The fields that dot the local suburban landscape that surrounds my home are just loaded with dock at the moment. Therefor, it makes perfect sense that dock should be dominating my kitchen right now. By the time we're all sick of dock, it will be too big and tough and full of bug holes to be enjoyed anyhow. And by then, another veg will have come on strong (asparagus!)
But for now, dock greens are perfection, just what I'm craving now that it's springtime. And like any leafy green, dock is especially nice when kissed by bacon and sweet onions.
Dock Sauteed with Bacon and Onions
In a pan with a spoonful of lard, saute a few pieces of chopped bacon, along with half an onion (or more, or garlic, if you prefer). When the bacon gets crispy, use a pair of scissors to cut handfuls of dock into 2" pieces into the pan (if using larger/older leaves, you may want to remove the center rib). Cook the dock just until it starts to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
Check out what dock looks like in the fall, or what it looked like just last week as it popped out of the ground.
I'm sharing this post with Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Fight Back Friday.