Sunday, July 24, 2011

Backyard edibles: The wonder weed Purslane

Most people are familiar with purslane as an annoyingly invasive weed; I know that's what I always thought. Then I read Claudia Roden's book of Middle eastern cooking, in her fattoush recipe she mentioned purslane as one of the ingredients. I didn't have a clue what purslane was and I was curious about this mysterious and exotic ingredient. So with a bit of googling I had my answer and was absolutely gobsmacked when I realized it was a weed. And not just any weed, one that I had spent a good amount of time attempting to eradicate from my yard. And I was even more surprised when I read that it has the largest amount of Omega 3's of all leafy plants (purslane has up to 400 mg per cup, salmon has 1400 mg per 4 oz.). Ever since I learned about this wonder weed I vowed that the next time purslane popped up in my yard I'd water and care for it properly. Luckily I had some grow next to my vegetable patch about a month ago. I watered the purslane daily during this hot summer to encourage it to be leafy and succulent, it grew amazingly fast and now I have a generous patch of purslane.

I prepared my purslane simply by rinsing well then stripping the leaves off of the fat stems, some of the little stems seemed tender so I threw some of those in. Then I gave them another good rinse, the plant has lots of tiny black seeds about half the size of poppy seeds so I tried to rinse them all away.

Then I added in other salad fixings and we had a delicious fattoush. Purslane has a very interesting texture, it's crunchy and a bit mucilaginous with a slightly sour bite. I really enjoyed it and have decided that the only time I pull Purslane will be to add it to my salad.


  1. Becky, I've never used this green but having read your post I will seek it out. This is my first visit to your blog and I've done some poking around. I really enjoyed the time I spent here and I'll be back. You've created an interesting spot for your readers to visit. I hope youhave a great day. Blessings...Mary