Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dock Rolls

In anticipation of the coming spring greenery, and because I haven't managed to construct a simple cold frame as of yet.... here's one of my favorite recipes for Dock leaves. What I find around Seattle is Broadleaf Dock or Rumex obtusifolius , although there are several kinds of dock plants. The plant contains tannins and oxalic acid, which are classified as slight toxins and laxative, although so do alot of other plants we eat. I blanch and then cook them, so I haven't noticed any issues. If you are sensitive to other plants with oxalic acids you might want to avoid them. Any time you forage for plants you have never eaten before, be sure you are correctly identifying the plant and try just a small amount the first time. Learning from an experienced local is always a good idea. That said, like most greens of spring, dock is also known as a liver tonic.

Dock Rolls

@ 16 medium to large broadleaf dock leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey or lamb
2 cups of water
1 onion, diced
1 cup of rice
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt
2 tsp. each of ground cumin and ground coriander
2 tsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice, you could use almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts
2 cloves of garlic minced
optional, parmesan cheese

15 oz jar tomato sauce 
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan bring to a boil meat, onion, garlic and spices. Take off heat and let sit for @ 10 minutes, then drain reserving 1/2 cup and save the rest for another purpose. (makes a nice base for a soup stock, for instance). Put strained meat and onions into a large bowl and add rice, salt, raisins, parsley, and nuts. Mix.

Pre-heat oven to 350*

In a medium pan bring some water to a simmer. In batches, dip the dock leaves for a few seconds each and then rinse with cold water in a colander. This step is a pain, but it seals the nice bright green color in the leaves so they don't turn brown in the baking dish. This is true whenever you want your greens to stay a nice bright green. Drain the leaves. Lay a leaf on a plate and put a couple of spoonfuls in the middle of the leaf; fold in the sides slightly and roll up. Place each one as finished with the rolled edge down, in a baking dish, 9 x 13" . I have also done this in a large skillet with a fitted lid at low heat.Mix together all ingredients for the sauce and add reserved juice from meat.  Once all the rolls are in the dish top with the sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Dish should be bubbling. If desired, top with parmesan or other cheese and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes. Enjoy.

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