There are several Poke Sallet Festivals coming up in May. In Harlan, Kentucky it will be May 31-June 2. Check the web for a location near you.
This year the poke is plentiful along the fence of my yard, and even in the yard. I had to make a pot the other day. It smells so fresh cooking, not like cabbage or even kale or mustard. I have never seen it sold at farmers markets so you may have to beg or steal from your country neighbors.
Although pokeweed grows from Maine to Florida, Southerners were the first to boil its leaves for a spinach-like salad. These days, poke salad lovers still mix the leaves with a little onion, bacon, and eggs for a side dish.
If you don't remember the song Poke Salad Annie, here you go!
1 1/2 to 2 pounds poke greens and stalks
4 thick slices salt bacon
1/2 teaspoon salt
chopped boiled egg (optional)
Select tender young poke greens; include some tender stalks not over 6 inches high. Cut the stalks into pieces. Clean the greens well, rinsing several times. Parboil and discard the water. Add fresh water and cook until barely tender. Fry bacon until crisp, remove from skillet, and set aside. Add greens, salt, and chopped onions to the drippings. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve with salt pork, recipe follows, and corn pone.
Fried Salt Pork
Select "fat back" or side meat" with a streak of lean. Slice thickly and cover with boiling water; return to a boil, then remove and drain the meat. Dip meat in cornmeal seasoned with black pepper and paprika. Fry in hot shortening until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Allow 3 slices per serving. A must accompaniment to poke sallet.