Yellow Dock – Will They Eat It?

For today’s edition of “Can I Actually Make My Family Eat This Stuff?” we’re going to try yellow dock. There are several different kinds, curly dock, broad leaf dock…but we mostly call it all yellow dock, or just dock. Like poke, it’s a little bit poisonous too, so you cook it in much the same way. As with poke, there’s no need to boil it down to slippery green mush. Cook it a bit past blanched and that will be fine.

Our poke is getting bigger than one should eat, but we still have plenty of young dock. Large dock leaves can most likely still be eaten (although there is dispute) but they become tough and bitter. You want to take the smaller leaves from the center of the plant, they are the least bitter. The leaves also produce a slimy ooze from their stems. I didn’t tell the family about this, you don’t notice it by the time it’s cooked

Washing the leaves in the sink. Much of the slime comes off this way. Off the outside at least


Just like poke I washed the leaves, threw them in boiling water for a few minutes and then fried them up in a bit of bacon fat. They don’t make for the most beautiful cooked green in the world. I think if I had just called them turnip greens they would’ve gone over a better. “Turnip greens” somehow sounds different than “stuff I found in the yard.”


So, the ultimate question, “will they eat it?” Kind of. My husband said they were just fine and we should have them again. Baby Marshall doesn’t have a particularly discerning palate yet, but he preferred them to collards (probably easier to pickup). Della very politely said “No thank you Mama, it’s gross,” which I think is very advanced communication for only being two.

Cooked and ready to serve. I really tried to take a picture where it looked appetizing, or even like food, but it just couldn’t be done. .

In my opinion it’s a cooked green, so Della is right of course it’s gross, but it’s better than spinach or kale, and better than canned collards. The internet said it would have a lemony flavor to it. I can’t say that was even vaguely accurate. Maybe if you accidentally throw some wood sorrel in with it that could be achieved. Ultimately it’s a free, nutritious food so we’ll be having it again, perhaps dressed up with a few mustard greens just for looks.

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