Archive for January, 2015

Fiddle dock leaves

Herb: Fiddle Dock

Latin name: Rumex pulcher

Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Edible parts of Fiddle Dock:

Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads, they have an acid flavour.

Description of the plant:

Plant: Perennial

Height: 50 cm (1 foot)

Flovering: June to July

Habitat of the herb:

Dry sunny habitats in sandy soils, occasionally on chalk and limestone.

Other uses of Fiddle Dock:

Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of Fiddle Dock:

Dry sunny habitats in sandy soils, occasionally on chalk and limestone.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Rumex pulcher:

Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

  • Prep Time 20 min
  • Total Time 60 min
  • Servings 4

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage
2 cups kale, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 (11 oz) bag Green Giant Nature’s Blend Veggie Steamers
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken (or use leftover chicken )
1 Pillsbury 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 pinches coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat the oil in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sage and bloom for 30 seconds.
  • Add the kale and sauté until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the flour and continue to sauté another 2 minutes, until the kale is coated.
  • Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until slightly thickened. Stir in the Green Giant veggies and peas.
  • Add the chicken and simmer for about 5 minutes, until it’s nice and thick. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Unroll the pie crust and lay it over the cast iron. You may pinch the edges if you choose, or leave them be.
  • Slide into the oven for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce heat to 375 and cook another 15 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
  • Let rest 20 minutes before cutting into the pie. Serve immediately!




Carrot and Onion Soup
preparation 15 minutes
cooking 35  minutes
Serves 8


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 pounds carrots, thinly sliced
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt and pepper
16 crackers (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the soup among individual bowls and serve with the crackers, if using.
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