Polk Salad Plant

My husband calls this polk salad and it’s edible. It is actually a very good green vegetable, but it is supposedly toxic and has to be prepared a certain way to draw the toxins out before they can be eaten. So when these start coming in, we gather up the tender leaves and give them to our next door neighbor, Miss Mary, who then prepares it and cooks it. At the end, she give us a bowl full, our share of the polk salad. They are actually delicious, like a cross between spinach and collard greens.

They say that it is best to eat the greens in the spring. By the fall, when they’ve flowered and have berries, they say not to cook them then as the toxins are more concentrated.

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4 Comments

shahn on April 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm.

how does Ms. Mary prepare the polk salad?

Reply

JMom on June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm.

Hi Shahn, sorry for the late reply… Here’s what I found out about cooking polk salad.

While everyone tells you to par boil the greens three times and throw out the water to get rid of toxins, I was also advised that one cleansing is enough. I’ve tried both methods and found no ill effects either way.

So what you do is, boil water and submerge the polk salad greens. Let the water come to a boil and drain the water out. Repeat two more times if you’re going for the three par boils method; otherwise, simply replace with clean water after you’ve poured out the first water. Let it come to a boil and return the blanched greens. Add lots of onions and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until desired tenderness. It won’t take as long to cook as collards or other greens. I cooked mine for about 45 minutes and it was well done. It also should not be too watery. If you can cook it until there’s very little water left, that would be perfect.

Let me know if you try cooking it!

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delisa jackson on May 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm.

I HAVE POLK SALAD ALL OVER MY YARD EVERY YEAR. I NEVER COOK THEM BUT GIVE THEM AWAY, JUST PULLED UP OVER 30 STALKS AND GAVE IT AWAY TO A SWEET LADY MS. EMMA JEAN TO COOK. SHE SAID THEY ARE VERY GOOD AND SAID HER DOCTOR TOLD HER THEY ARE GOOD IN IRON. I HAVE SOME NEW BABY ONE’S GROWING AND MAY TRY THEM NEXT MONTH, BUT FOR NOW HAPPY EATING MS.EMMA. SHE ALSO GAVE ME A RECIPE FOR THEM ,
THINK I’LL TRY IT.

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Wendy on May 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm.

I have met Tony Joe White here in Nashville. He wrote and sings the “Polk Salad Annie” song. We got into a big discussion with other friends about whether the proper name is Polk Salad, Poke Salad or Poke Sallet. Tony Joe obviously went with Polk Salad.
There are a lot of differing opinions on when to pick, what to pick and how to cook the Polk weed. I have not tried it yet, but I’m willing to give it a taste.
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