If you are one of those people, huffing and puffing while you weed your yard and wishing those weeds would just die, stop and look again. You might have an edible weed garden in your backyard, waiting to be discovered! And one of those nasty suckers resisting your efforts might be my long lost friend, purslane.
Have you ever heard of purslane?
In other parts of the world, purslane has been used in cooking and medicinal applications for centuries. In the States, it’s usually considered an invasive weed. This explains why I haven’t been able to find it here for a long time. Recently, I was thrilled to find that Compare Foods sells purslane under the name “Verdolaga.”
This fragile looking, tiny-leafed plant contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, making it a unique vegetable in that sense. It also contains decent levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A. It can be substituted wherever you use spinach—in salads, soups, and stews.
So if you see this “weed”, pick some and try my favorite salad. Chop most of the plant except the harder stems on the bottom, and combine with your favorite salad ingredients. I like to keep things simple, so just a red, plump tomato does the trick for me. You can add crumbled feta or goat cheese to brighten things up. The basic dressing in the recipe below surely brings out the flavor.
In my home country of Turkey, it is also common to cook purslane with onions, ground beef and tomato sauce, and serve it with a healthy ladleful of yogurt on top. As an alternative, you can also combine your purslane with minced garlic and yogurt to serve as a side dish.
Next time you are weeding out your backyard, pay attention! You might be stepping on your dinner!
● 2 small bunches of purslane, cleaned, chopped in 1 inch pieces
● 1 large tomato, diced
● 1 clove of garlic, minced
● 1 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
● ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
● Salt and black pepper to taste
● crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese (optional)
● Salt and pepper to taste
Combine purslane and diced tomato in a salad bowl.
Whisk together garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the vegetables.
Add cheese on top.
Wikipedia | Portulaca Oleracea