Sunday, February 12, 2017

Getting Off The Grid - Cooking Food That Grows Wild - Poke Salad

Poke salad is a weed that grows wild in Alabama. To me its free food.

Most people pick it in the Spring and early summer. There is an old wives tale that you need to eat poke salad three times a year to clean the toxins out of your body. I eat it because I like the taste, it reminds me of the taste of spinach, some say a mix of spinach and turnip greens.

Here is the process, If you do not do it this way you may get very sick, it will cause diarrhea.

Pick poke salad, I use a shopping bag full because it will cook down.

Wash your poke salad, make sure there are not any bugs or bird poop on it .

In a large pot add poke salad and fill one half full with water. Boil about ten minutes till its all wilted and the water is a dark olive green.

Remove from heat and drain all water, rinse with cool water. 

Add 1/2 pot of water again and bring to a rolling boil again about five minutes.

Repeat the draining and rinsing.

Add 1/2 pot of water and boil again for ten minutes.

Drain and rinse this last time, leave in strainer and let all the water drain out.

When the poke salad has cooled down take hand fulls and squeeze all the liquid out. Lay aside in a plate each time.

In a large skillet pour a thin amount of olive oil over the bottom, heat over a medium heat. (if you still live dangerous use bacon grease, its fabulous!) Add one finely chopped onion, cook till the onions are clear.

Add the Poke salad, stir it around till its covered with the oil, cook a few minutes.

Pull all the poke salad and onions to one side of the skillet and add several eggs to the open side (3 ). Scrabble the eggs in that section of the skillet. when the eggs are almost done mix the poke salad in with the eggs.

Cut off heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

That is how I make Poke salad . That is a down home deep south recipe that has been passed down generations ... but I use olive oil and not lard.

Serve with hot fresh cornbread and a pot of beans! Makes  a meal complete!

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry


  1. I never heard of poke salad but that sure does look good.

    1. I do not know if it grows in your state.It is!

  2. I have never heard of it before but it sounds good to me.

  3. It grows up here. You can actually buy it in cans. Most people would recognize the clusters of purple berries.

  4. I have not heard of poke salad. I wonder if we have that here.

  5. The plant is pokeweed. In fall it has clusters of purple berries. It grows 6-8' tall with hollow stalks. The root is a white tuber that can grow to the size of a basketball.

  6. Jay is from Alabama and this was his favorite food, while growing up! His mother made it often and he loved it:) I wish we had poke weed here, in Michigan.

  7. Oh, grandma also said they used the berries for lip stain and rouge. I helped her pick it once, but do not think I ever ate it. I understand the root is a remedy for poison ivy and the like.