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Apr 3, 2008 03:54 AM

Has anyone ever eaten purslane?

I recently learned, in my old age, that purslane (Portulaca oleracea) contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acid, a compound touted to be a good cholesterol reducer. This feature is not common in most plant matter.

If you've used purslane in your culinary endeavors, what kind of dish did you prepare?

Purslane is considered a weed by many people, and it propagates profusely.

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  1. I've had it in salad. But there are lots of recipes for using it on the web. Google "purslane recipe" or "verdolago." The range from salads to side dishes. A common one involves boiling for about two minutes, draining it, and melting cheese over it in a skillet. By the way, ornamental varieties of purslane have been bred that have showy flowers. So you can grow it as an accent in your garden, not just as an invasive weed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Father Kitchen

      I've had purslane in a mixed salad as well.... in fact that's the only way I like it. My mother's Italian gardner used to grow it in our vegetable garden so I've been eating it since childhood. It has a mild sweetish after taste that, for me, is quite lovely.

    2. The thing about purslane is, it's only available for a short time of the year in the Spring, so eat it while you can. I think it's beautiful mixed with endive and fresh chive or finely minced shallot, fresh sweet strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette.

      1. Thanks for the replies so far. I acquired seeds from a West Coast source, the postage cost more than the seeds, and I planted some in a pot. Winter keeps returning to the Mid-Atlantic states, so I do not know when to expect seedlings to appear.

        I'm looking forward to tasting the stuff. If I develop a liking for the stuff, and have a sufficient crop, I may pickle some for the cold weather months after this growing season.

        Of utmost importance to me as far as growing vegetables is my chile crop, the pods of which I use in chili.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ChiliDude

          Oh good luck with that. I too grow my own vegetables and herbs from seed I start. It's terrific to have chilies that no one else has!!

          1. re: ChiliDude

            Apparently it is an easy growing weed, so you might wish to put it in the garden for an abundance. It looks so much different than the other weeds that would show up in your garden, it will be easy to cull.
            I like it raw as salad - kinda lemony. Or just the slightest bit cooked. It has a bit of a goo factor.

            Search verdolagas and purslane (and your Mexican and Turkish cookbooks) for more - there was quite a bit of chat around this healthy weed last summer

            1. re: pitu

              It grows RAMPANTLY in my garden and I absolutely loathe it. I spend my entire summer pulling it out and tossing it to the chickens - who don't seem to care for it either. Wish I could bring myself to eat the stuff but those succulent little leaves seem kind of slimy to me - I'm sure it's just vegi-prejudice on my part. Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess. Enjoy.

          2. I've seen it in a pasta recipe with bacon, onions, garlic, etc. Although the bacon may cancel out the benefit of the purslane!

            3 Replies
            1. re: katecm

              Thanks for the suggestion. As much as I like bacon, it can be left out of the dish. The rest of the ingredients are some of my favorites.

              1. re: ChiliDude

                If you like the idea of a pasta dish, google "italian purslane" and you'll come up with a lot of info on how to prepare it. Apparently, it is quite popular in Italy.

                1. re: vvvindaloo

                  BTW - I saw it at the Union Sq. farmer's market yesterday.

            2. ChiliDude,
              I just received Purslane seed from Johnny's Seed catalog. It's a hybrid I believe (Golden Purslane) which is larger than the other. I am going to try it in my garden this spring for it's nutritious value. My understanding is that it has a lemony flavor and would be a great accent to salads. Looking forward to trying it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: houndlover

                Thanks for the contact. Let me know how well your crop production of the purslane goes. We've got a cool spell lingering at this time. That'll delay germination here.