Wandering around my small town in southern Louisiana last week, it was obvious that Spring had launched, full bloom. Satsuma trees' blossom's fragranced my small gravel road with their thick, honey-drenched scent, the thistle lining the woods behind my house suddenly stood six feet tall, and, most exciting of all, to me anyways, wild yellow dock had sprouted up just about everywhere. It's tapered, velvety leaves waved temptingly to me in the breeze, and my mind was flooded with ideas, recipes, and tastes. I grabbed a few fistfuls of the most tender young leaves I could find, and practically skipped home in excitement. My first dock dish of the season was Polenta Battered Dock Wraps with Strawberry Chutney from local strawberries and polenta. These bite-sized poppers are delicious, light, and super easy to whip up.
What you need:
6 baby dock leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup soy cheese, shredded
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup stoneground polenta
1 cup masa
3 tablespoons unrefined peanut oil, or any other hearty, medium-high heat oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pint strawberries, slightly mashed
1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of honey
zest of one orange
In a medium sized bowl combine polenta, masa, salt, and pepper. Fill another bowl with water. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Sautee diced onions and minced garlic. Once soft and golden brown, toss in cheese and lower heat slightly. Continue cooking until cheese has melted. Add remaining oil to a deep skillet and heat over medium heat. Quickly spoon a dollop of the cheese, onion, garlic mixture into each dock leaf and wrap lengthwise tightly. One at a time, drop each wrap into the water first, then the polenta/masa mix, then repeat. Drop immediately into oil. Cook until lightly browned.
While cooling, prepare the chutney. Over medium heat combine all ingredients in a pot and stir until boiling. Once at a rolling boil reduce heat to low. Cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy and Happy Vernal Equinox!