Foraging Wild Shoots: Curly Dock

Photo of Curly Dock shoot

In years past, I've foraged the roots (for herbal vinegars and tinctures) and young leaves (for eating) of Curly Dock (Rumex crispus), and this spring I finally sampled the shoots of this perennial plant. When stalks are 1-2' tall, but before they contain flower buds, I use the bend-test to select stalks with thick, flexible tops. Once peeled, the vegetable looks much like a Wild Carrot shoot. Don't be alarmed if you encounter some slime during processing, that's normal. In my experience, these are mostly available in late May and early June. Jenny and I enjoyed them raw and found them to be crisp with a slight sour fruitiness similar to Smooth Sumac shoots. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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