As you may recall, I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from which I receive a bounty of farm fresh produce each week. Last week there was something new and very strange in my bag that I did not recognize. It is called purslane. Upon research, meaning a Google search, I found that purslane is an edible weed. The leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds are all edible. It is harvested in the summer and it now turns up at farmers’ markets in the late summer months.
You can use it raw in salads; toss into soups; boil it; or saute it. Purslane is best used fresh. But, if you must store it, wrap it in a moist paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Purslane may be substituted for spinach in any dish that calls for spinach, raw or cooked. And in fact, cooked purslane tastes exactly like cooked spinach. I doubt that even the most advanced palate would be able to taste the difference between the two.
As I said, purslane is a weed. It is the bane of many gardeners. And now that I know what it is… add me to the list of gardeners who curse it. It has been taking over my flower garden for the past couple summers now, and until I found it in my CSA bag, I had no idea what that damned weed was. When I figured out that the greens in my bag were the same thing as the weeds in my backyard, I was so disgusted that I nearly tossed the bundle from my CSA into the trash! I HATE purslane!!! Just look at it in the photo above, it has choked out every flower that was near it. I can’t get rid of it. Google revealed that purslane is an especially hearty weed – NO kidding!
Anyhow, I finally took control of my emotions and packed the stuff into the ice chest I was taking over to Coronado. On the last day we were there, I finally had the courage to cook with the weed.
Yes, I’m glad I did. I made a potato gratin with purslane, and it was delicious and it would have been a waste to throw it in the trash. I guess I’ll get out in the yard this weekend, dig out the purslane in my flower garden, look at it as a blessing instead of a curse, and serve it up.
Most importantly, I want to send a huge shout-out and many thanks to Sheila for a wonderful long weekend at her absolutely gorgeous cottage on Coronado! It was a joy to share such relaxing girlfriend time with you there. xoxo
October 17, 2012 1 Comment