Poke Salat


Pokeweed ointments and poultices are used for a variety of ailments including arthritis, scabies, ringworm, vaginal yeast infection and breast cancer.

poke Poke berries in my front yard


It's also edible. One of my father’s favorite dishes was poke salat, although he’d also be happy with any kind of deep green, leafy vegetable such as collard or turnip greens.

pokeweed Pokeweed pops up all over my yard and in my gardens



The mature plant, roots, flowers, berries and seeds, are poisonous. The six to eight-inch spring shoots are safe, but still must be boiled. If you plan to try this dish, go "poke picking" with someone who is knowledgeable about the plant and how to cook it.



Young poke salat leaves (with tender shoots)

Black pepper


*Ham (optional)

I prepare the leaves by placing them in the top part of a spaghetti pot and steaming them. You can also tear leaves and shoots into small pieces and place in water pot, then boil for five minutes. Some cooks recommend that you rinse and then cover with cool water and boil again for another five minutes in order to thoroughly clean the vegetable.

Drain and place the poke salat in the pot with desired seasonings. Dad was happy with just black pepper, vinegar and a small amount of butter.

*Old World Ingredient