The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Poke Sallet

By Ivalien Hylton Belcher © 1983

Issue: August, 1983

How many people know the uses of the “Poke Sallet Plant?” When I was a child, I made beautiful colored ink from the berries. The leaves are delicious and the stalks made a tasty dish when fried. My dad always fixed the greens like his grandmother and passed the recipe on to me.

Poke Sallet Greens

Pick tender leaves, parboil with a pinch of soda added to the water. Fry in grease. When ready to serve, scramble an egg in with the greens. (Sometimes I fry onions with it. Mmmm, delicious!)

Fried Poke Stalks

Pick tender stalks and peel the thin red membrane off. Soak in ice water for three hours or overnight. Slice, roll in flour (salt and pepper to taste). Deep fry until golden brown.

A friend told me that his mother pickled the stalks but he doesn’t remember the recipe. If anyone has the directions for this, I would love to have them.

Editors Note: The poke “sallet” is picked as the new shoots are coming up and are tender. Be careful to only use the stalks and leaves as the roots and berries are poisonous to man and beast.