Also known as green-headed coneflower or “sochani” by the Cherokee, this nutty and peppery-flavored wild green grows along riverbanks and damp woodland borders. It looks similar to black-eyed Susan, but can reach heights up to 10 feet. Gather sochan in the spring when it’s young and tender. Pick the leaves versus pulling the plant up by its roots.
To prepare, rinse the leaves and place in a pot filled with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Sochan is ready when the leaves can be pulled apart with your fingers. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Rinse and store in freezer bags until ready to cook.
Heat fatback in a skillet. Add the greens and salt to taste. Heat until greens are hot and serve warm.