Gourmet Dock Rolls

When I read a novel, for days after I've finished the book, I speak in the same manner as the main character. Do you do that, too? I went years without looking at any cooking magazines, websites, or books for that very reason. I was afraid if I read other people's writing about food, that it would unconsciously bleed into my own writing, photography, and food style. If you look back through my posts, you'll notice that I hardly ever say that a recipe was inspired by a particular cook or cookbook. Instead, most of my recipes are a happy marriage of circumstance and imagination. I look at what foods I have on hand at a particular meal, and figure out a nice way to cook them.

I can't say whether that has been a good or bad thing. It certainly gave me a lot of wiggle room, and time to develop confidence in my own style. But now, it no longer makes sense for me to shut out such a large part of the world that is so important to me. My heart is that of an explorer, and I'm thirsty for inspiration.

This means that I'm once again checking out a ridiculous (considering I usually ride my bike) number of items from the library. And when I see a food magazine at the thrift store for under 50 cents, I don't pass it by.

Last week, I scored an old Gourmet. It was an anniversary issue, featuring one recipe from each of its first 65 years. This caused me to frown wistfully in light of the fact that the magazine is no longer published. I was surprised to see that their featured recipe for the year 1963 was Spinach with Sesame Shoyu Dressing. The dish looked like solid green bites of sushi, something that I'd expect to see on a modern table. I immediately thought of substituting leaves of dock into the recipe since dock is at its peak. I suspect other wild leafy greens, like nettle, would also be delicious here.

Gourmet Dock Rolls

1 lb dock, washed (remove midrib from larger leaves)
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/8 c. peanut oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
sriracha (to taste)
pinch of salt

1.  Plunge your dock leaves into a pot of boiling water. Stir, and leave them to boil for only 30 seconds before pouring the contents of the pot through a sieve or colander to drain away the water.

2.  As soon as the dock leaves have cooled enough to handle, wad them up into a tight ball and squeeze it like a wet sponge, until most of the water is gone.

3.  Finely diced the dock leaves. Avoid the urge to do this in a food processor, because the resulting mash is a mess. Go to town on them with your knife. It can be fun, especially if you think of your ex while chopping.

4.  Gather the leaves and use your hands to start forming them into a log. Place the log onto a piece of parchment, and roll the contents up as tightly as possible, aiming to a create a log that is one inch in diameter. Let it rest while you assemble the dressing.

5.  Combine the remaining ingredients, using a fork to gently whisk them together to create a dressing.

6.  Remove the dock log from the parchment, and carefully slice it into pieces like sushi. Use your hands to smooth out any rough edges before serving each piece, room temp, topped with a spoonful of the sesame dressing.


Hungry for more dock recipes? Have a peak at the Wild Things Round Up from last month, where dock was the featured plant.

I'm happy to share this recipe with Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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