Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! For some food ideas, check out my Summer (Ending) Recipes post.
I just spent a bit over two dollars on a hefty bunch of weeds at New Seasons, and I was happy to do it too. Purslane is commenly regarded as weed, but this high in nutrient plant is worth growing, foraging, or, as in my case, buying.
“…recent research findings confirm that purslane is also a rich source of fatty acids, vitamin E, and other key nutrients–making it a prime candidate as a new vegetable crop.” and
“Norman, at the agency’s Weed Science Laboratory; James A. Duke at the ARS National Germplasm Resources Laboratory in Beltsville; Artemis P. Simopoulos of The Center for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C.; and scientist James E. Gillaspy of Austin, Texas, have confirmed that P. oleracea contains more of one omega-3 fatty acid—called alpha-linolenic acid–than any other green leafy vegetable yet studied.
Purslane can be eaten cooked or raw. In salads, it has a mild, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture much like bean sprouts. A 100-gram serving has about 300 to 400 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid—10 times more than spinach, the researchers found”. Source
I kept coming across references to it in my reading, everything from animals grazing on it for rich in omega 3 meat (from Rebuild from Depression, A Nutrient Guide) to people gathering it and enjoying it on their tables.
And this is a “traditional” green too, used by many other cultures.
“Several ancient cultures have included purslane as a part of their cuisine, including those of Greece and Central America. Russians dry and can it for the winter. In Mexico it is called verdolaga and is a favorite comfort food. There, it is eaten in omelets, as a side dish, rolled in tortillas, or dropped by handfuls into soups and stews.” Source
It reminds me a little of the minor’s lettuce that I used to eat in my younger years with my best friend. It has that more “greeny” wild taste that only comes with uncultivated food. I really like it. We haven’t yet gotten very creative with it, but have been adding it to our (almost) daily salad. It makes my dark green lettuce greens look pale! By the time we’ve added a flavorful dressing, it doesn’t taste that much different than other lettuce, but it has such a great texture! I love it!
You can grow your own, buy it at some farmer’s markets, or forage some (making sure, of course, that you know what you are doing).
Though I have been simply tossing it in a salad, there is a whole lot more you can do with it! Here are some recipes for inspiration.
- Wild Purslane, Cucumber and Tomato Salad Purslane cooked with rice and tomatoes
After reading through those recipes, I think I will get more creative with my purslane! I plan on buying some more this week.
Anyone else have any purslane stories or recipes to share? Anyone tried to grow it (I hear it can take over your garden…like a weed!)?