While attempting to tackle the growing colony of weeds that have taken up residence in my vegetable garden this past weekend, I came across a plant that looked pretty similar to what I was just served at a fancy restaurant. I did some googling and found that it was called purslane. I decided that if a restaurant could serve it, so could I – I yanked it up by the roots and dragged it back to my kitchen for some test runs.
During my googling extravaganza, I discovered that purslane is so much more than your average weed. Aside from the fact that it’s edible and tastes pretty darn good, it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, beta carotene, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. In more layman’s terms, it’s better for you than spinach! One cup of cooked purslane has 20% of your recommended Vitamin C intake alone, which is made even more exciting from the fact that I can find it in my backyard for absolutely free.
After making this discovery, I’ve been tossing the stuff into nearly everything I make. Refried beans, pot pies, salads, you name it! I found that it’s particularly tasty in a 1:1 ratio with basil in a pesto. In the past week, I’ve gone from tossing purslane onto the compost pile to absolutely hoarding the stuff. My tortoise for one is annoyed that I’ve started to remove one of his favorite snacks from the yard. Sorry, Mortimer.
So next time you come across this little amazing weed, snag it, wash it, and devour it! If you aren’t a particular fan of it’s flavor, simply saute it into a stir fry and you won’t even know it’s there. Trust me, I used my brother and boyfriend as my guinea pigs.
Tips + Tricks:
- Never eat anything that you’re not absolutely certain about. Purslane doesn’t have a whole lot of look-a-like’s (spurge is the closest), but you can never be too careful!
- Here’s a handy site for identifying purslane in case you aren’t 100% sure.