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July 28, 2021
What is Purslane?
No, we aren't talking that type of "weed"....Purslane (also called pigweed or verdolagas) is a green, leafy succulent that gardeners often consider a weed. Purslane is the little plant that could, it loves the heat and is often popping up in sidewalk cracks or in summer gardens after a monsoon.
I was really curious when Eric asked if I would feature this weed on the blog. Purslane is not something you see everyday in your CSA basket or at most local Phoenix farmer's markets. After a little research, I found that purslane has an enthusiastic following in most local gardening groups.
What Makes Purslane Special?
Calorie for calorie, purslane is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. It is high in vitamin E, C, and omega-3 fatty acid. In fact, purslane has 6 times more vitamin E than spinach! Purslane also has higher levels of melatonin which can help you sleep.
How Do You Harvest Purslane
When harvesting purslane, be sure to harvest from a yard that you know is not treated with pesticides (after all, purslane is considered a weed!). Luckily, the Amadio Farm is all organic. The stems, flowers, and leaves are all edible. To prepare, remove the leaves from their thick stems (the thin stems are edible depending on your texture preference) and be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly. I like to use a salad spinner to wash my lettuce.
How Do You Eat Purslane?
Purslane can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a texture similar to spinach and has a lovely lemony tang. While we were harvesting it in the Amadio's front field, I was surprised to find myself constantly munching on the raw leaves!
Purslane is perfect as a light salad tossed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. In Mexican cuisine, it is often included in pork dishes and omelets. You can use purslane in place of spinach or herbs in pesto sauce or chimichurri. It is also great saluted or added to soups and stews.
My family enjoyed this Mediterranean style dinner with grilled chicken, pita bread, and a Purslane Tabbouleh Salad.
If you try purslane, let us know on the Facebook group what your favorite recipe is!