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Jun 22, 2012 04:11 PM

Purslane - what do you do with it?

I've encountered a good source of pesticide-free weed and wonder what you suggest?

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  1. I remove the tiny fleshy little leaves from the stems, discard the stems, & sprinkle/toss the leaves in green salads. They add a nice tangy sort of citrusy flavor.

    And for those who really become fans of Purslane, there are dometicated versions available from seed companies. Leaves are larger & plants are less scraggly. There's even a gold-leaved type.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bacardi1

      The patches of it in our garden on our farm when I was growing up were so extensive that we had to pick it and burn it. Each tiny piece of it would grow very quickly and make dreadful mats all over. We often picked several 5-gallon pails of the stuff. So, my purslane memories are not the fondest.

      Getting beyond that, I agree that it is best in salads with a tart vinaigrette.

    2. Look in "Walden". Thoreau mentions eating it. I think he boiled it. Although Bacardi's salad sounds better to me.

      1. eat your books has a lot purslane recipes. hate to hear about burning it....but it is a weed, like nettles and the "sour grass" we found as kids in NC...I love sorrel now.

        1. How about a sautée? My friends and I shared a dish of it as a side when we last ate at Barbuto in NYC and it was revelatory especially with the main dishes we had.

          3 Replies
          1. re: huiray

            I've never had it cooked. What is the texture like? Does it get slimy or stay relatively crisp?

            1. re: Bacardi1

              Relatively crisp. The dish we had was more along the lines of a sauté/stir-fry, if that makes sense. It was soft-crunchy, interesting taste, accompanied well the seared ribeye it was presented with - but it went swimmingly with the (famous) Jonathan Waxman chicken as well as a fabulous pasta dish. IIRC it evoked just slightly stir-fried watercress, although the flavors are not the same. I could imagine that it would turn to mush if you cooked it to death; and would suspect that it might have a slimy texture as well - but I have not done that to find out. :-)

              1. re: huiray

                Thanks! That's what I was thinking as well - that since its interior is a bit muciliginous(sp?), it might get slimy when cooked. If I try it, I'll have to remember to keep it quick.

          2. Some previous ideas here:

            Personally, I would sautee with some EVOO, garlic, and onions, then puree and make purslane soup.