Seed Weed Salad

Don’t kill your weeds, eat them! Have fun learning to identify the weeds in your yard, then picking the edible varieties to make a salad. You’ll also find a yummy vinaigrette recipe in this article. This is a great tailgaiting dish! Serve as a main vegetarian dish or a side dish. You won't have any leftovers! Pokeweed is a nutritional powerhouse, but can be toxic if it's not prepared with caution. Here's a detailed recipe of how to make "poke salad" safely.

Make a Salad With Edible Weeds in Your Yard Plus a Vinaigrette

In the spring, our yards begin to green up and fill in with wonderful foliage.

Some of us attempt to limit the spread of weeds by killing or pulling them. Really, a weed is just another plant that happens to be in the wrong place.

However, I welcome weeds, especially weeds that I can eat. Many plants that we consider to be weeds are, in fact, herbs. They have many culinary as well as medicinal properties.

In my yard, I have quite a few edible weeds. Spring is the best time to make a salad from them, too. The leaves are young and tender. As they get older, they tend to get more bitter-tasting, so it’s best to use young leaves.

Before going out and picking weeds, make 100% sure you know exactly what you are picking. Look at pictures and guidebooks to help you. If there is any doubt, do not pick a plant—better safe than sorry!

Wherever you pick weeds, be certain that no one has used pesticides or herbicides on them.


This is a great tailgaiting dish! Serve as a main vegetarian dish or a side dish. You won’t have any leftovers!

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    • 1 pkg broccoli slaw
    • 1 bunch green onion;chopped
    • 1/2 C salted sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 C toasted slivered almonds
    • 1 pkg beef flavor ramen noodles
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    1. Dressing: 3/4 C oil 1/2 C sugar 1/4 C white vinegar Add seasoning packet from noodles Mix this well and cover salad items with dressing and serve.

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    Pokeweed: How to Prepare “Poke Salad”

    Pokeweed is a nutritional powerhouse, but be careful, it can also be toxic to humans if it’s not prepared correctly. This voluptuous weed is extremely high in vitamin A, and also has significant amounts of vitamin C, iron and calcium. Additionally, pokeweed contains a unique antiviral protein that may inhibit the growth of some herpes simplex viruses and even HIV!

    Pokeweed is one of the first plants to sprout in the springtime. Because of that, its traditionally eaten to get people through the early spring, along with other “weeds” like chickweed and nettles. It also has lymphatic cleansing properties and helps the body with “spring cleaning. The best time to harvest pokeweed for food is before the plant reaches knee height (well before it flowers). When you weed your garden, pokeweed is one you might skip over, so you can enjoy its benefits.

    Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed) with ripe berries

    The common name, poke, comes from a word for “blood” or “dye” in a language indigenous to North America (probably Powhatan or Virginia Algonquin). That’s because pokeweed’s bright berries can be used to make dye when they’re ripe.

    We teach about loads of edible weeds in our Online Gardening School

    Poke salad or poke sallet?

    Pokeweed is always eaten cooked. In fact, raw poke can make you sick or even kill you. It’s especially dangerous for children and older folks. Even though that sounds scary, don’t worry; we’re going to walk you through how to render this tender plant into something safe and delicious.

    The term “poke salad” is actually a misnomer. Even though that’s what a lot of people call the most common pokeweed dish, its true name is poke sallet or poke salat. That’s because poke has been eaten for so long by our European ancestors here in North America. The word sallet comes from an older form of English, and refers to something like a cooked salad. So, now you know: “poke salad” is actually poke sallet.

    How to make poke sallet (poke “salad”)

    1. Start two pots of water on the stove (covered), one the size to fit the poke that you have harvested, one at least 3 times this size
    2. Coarsely chop poke shoots
    3. When water has come to a boil in the small pot, and is close to or is boiling in the big pot, ad d poke to small pot. Stir, so that all poke is submerged
    4. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, or until water returns to a boil
    5. Place lid over small pot in such a way that it stops greens from escaping as you pour offwater, or use colander to drain water, then put greens back in small pot
    6. Pour already boiling water from big pot over poke in small pot, cook for approximately 2 minutes, or until water returns to a boil
    7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 one to three more times, depending on flavor preference, and tolerance of (and desire for) the lymphatic cleansing and poison ivy relieving effects of pokeweed
    8. Optional: add salt and the traditional combo of bacon grease and molasses

    After processing in such a manner, greens should still be bright green and appear vital. Enjoy!


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