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The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook
by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Pot likker is the broth that comes from cooking greens. Mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, and kale have been a part of traditional southern cooking for years. This one-dish meal calls for dumplings, an unusual and delicious way to absorb the flavorful broth
Serves 4


    For The Pot Likker
    • 2 cups Vegetable Stock or low-salt canned vegetable stock
    • 1 pound greens (mustard, collard, kale, or turnip greens), trimmed and thoroughly cleaned
    • 1 large onion, quartered
    • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
    • 3 heads fresh garlic, halved horizontally
    • Salt
    • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • Several sprigs fresh parsley
    • 1 bay leaf crumbled
    • 1 medium white turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 medium white potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    For The Dumplings
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
    • 3/4 cup milk


In a large soup pot or kettle over high heat, place the stock and bring to a boil. Cut the greens into wide strips and add to the pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, peppercorns, parsley, and bay leaf Add enough water to cover the vegetables, if needed. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender and the broth has a rich, full flavor, about 45 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked greens to a bowl and cool. Strain the remaining contents of the pot, discarding all solids. Return the strained liquid to the pot and add the turnip and potato. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the greens and add to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

To make the dumplings, into a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Blend in the shortening with a pastry blender or fork. Add the milk and mix well.

Dip a teaspoon into cold water and then into the dough. Spoon the dumplings on top of the pot likker. Cover and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve hot.


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