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Purslane

  • c

Bought some purslane at a farmers market Sunday. Never tried it before and asked a woman buying some how to prepare, she suggested sauted with garlic and tomatoes, it was interesting..
googled and found out that , it is a common weed, though the golden variety is cultivated and it is a popular latino vegie, in green mole.
Also found out that it is nutritionally like spinach, only better.

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  1. c
    Chris Willging

    From what I gather, it's also quite common in areas around the Mediterranean (and maybe beyond?) There are several recipes in Paula Wolfert's books The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean and Mediterranean Grains and Greens. Alas, I have not yet been able to find any purslane at my farmer's market. Perhaps I'll have to grow some - since it is a weed, it shouldn't be too hard!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chris Willging

      Assyrians as an example eat it, so I would imagine that others in that area do also.

      1. re: Chris Willging
        e
        Eldon Kreider

        Think twice before growing purslane. It produces prodigious amounts of tiny seeds and is very difficult to kill. The fleshy stems remain viable and can root from small pieces even after several days in the sun. Purslane requires a fair amount of sun and heat to grow, so it is a late-summer vegetable in the northern United States. I have long suspected that people cooked purslane because it was the only way to kill it. Some may be in farmers' markets just to be paid to get rid of the pest.

        1. re: Eldon Kreider
          a
          Aromatherapy

          On the other hand it's easy to rip out. I've even used it as a living mulch. I believe the commercially available seed is not quite the same plant as the weed--kind of like wild and cultivated dandelion.

          1. re: Eldon Kreider

            Purslane is a beneficial weed and very nutritious. It's loaded with Omega-3 (and minerals) more than any other leafy green plant, it also helps other plants in the garden by creating a microclimate, retaining moisture and fixing micronutrients, the same beneficial service that cover crops perform in the fall. It's true, very difficult to kill, but why would you?

        2. a
          Aromatherapy

          A Mexican friend's mother makes some sort of stew with purslane and pork (neck bones). One of these days we will get it together and make it. If and when we do, I'll post a recipe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Aromatherapy

            I make this recipe for the pork and purslane stew fairly frequently. Use a couple of kilos of espinazo (pork spine), and stew the meat with:

            thick-sliced white onion
            lots of garlic cloves, maybe 10
            LOTS of verdolagas (purslane) (a kilo or more, washed and rough-chopped)
            ____________________________

            tomatillos (half kilo or more)
            chiles (jalapeƱos, to taste)
            lard
            cumin
            salt
            oregano
            water

            In a heavy pot, simmer the pork spine, sliced onion, about half of the garlic, and a good bit of sea salt (couple of teaspoons) until the pork is done, maybe 30-40 minutes.

            Boil the verdolagas separately--2 or 3 minutes--and drain. Reserve for later use.

            Make a salsa verde and fry it briefly in the lard, along with the meat.

            Crush the rest of the garlic and other spices in a molcajete. Add to the frying salsa verde.

            Return the meat, the verdolagas and the salsa to three or so cups of the pork broth and simmer for about 15 minutes more.

            I've also made a different version of this stew with guajillo chiles rather than the salsa verde, but I prefer the acidic taste of the salsa verde, which IMHO combines better with the acidic taste of the verdolagas.

            1. re: Cristina
              a
              Aromatherapy

              Thanks! Now I feel motivated. Will post any variations.

          2. We 'grow' purslane on our farm: it's a weed that we cut and sell. Below is a photo of purslane next to a tomato plant....

            Image: http://www.mariquita.com/images/photo...

            1. We'll pull it up from the garden or from the bricks in the patio and use it in a salad. I has a pleasant taste raw.

              1 Reply
              1. re: junescook

                I'm just now discovering raw purslane...it is very good...somewhat lemony taste (to my palate anyway)....I try to add it to my salads. Lots of great news about purslane nutritionally if you google it. *ALSO* dandelion is a weed-like green that is a powerhouse of nutrition in case anyone wants to know....

              2. Spurge often grows near purslane and is poisonous, so pick carefully. This link has more info:

                http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plan...

                1 Reply