Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, May I Introduce: Purslane!

When I stopped by to make my CSA pickup on Friday, I got an added treat: Purslane! Purslane has always been eaten in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries and has recently become a greenmarket darling. The nice thing for you and me is that purslane is also a weed. If your farmer doesn't spray his crops, ask if you can pick some purslane - as it's seen as a weed, he'll likely be thrilled to have you do it. Heck, if you have a yard, you've probably got some growing around the margins - purslane likes slightly bare, sandy soil.

When you get your purslane home store it, wrapped in a dishtowel, in a plastic bag. Before eating it, wash it well. Purslane grows really close to the ground so it can be super-sandy. If the stems are thin and not too fibrous (they should snap easily - like a fresh green bean) you can use them. If the stems are tough or stringy, strip the leaves from the stems and just use them.

Purslane, Squash and Jalapeno Salad
I like using purslane fresh in salads like this one here. It's a succulent leaf that holds up well to citrusy dressing and chunky partners like this summer squash. I chopped my bunch of purslane into 1/2" lengths and tossed it with sliced summer squash, chopped jalapeno and a lemon dressing.

In addition to using it fresh, you can quickly sauté the stems and leaves with garlic and chili. I have also pickled purslane stems and they're a great addition to a sandwich (use a dilly bean recipe).

This Summer, I am chronicling my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience. My CSA share is from Arrowhead Farm, a farm based in Newburyport, MA. Each week, I am posting about what was in my share and what I'm doing with it. By way of full disclosure, I won my share through a raffle and am not paying for it. However, Arrowhead did not know I was entered in the raffle, and I received no special consideration because of this blog. I paid for my livestock share. A full set of all the photos I've taken of this share is here.


Abigail Cahill O'Brien said...

Purslane is the best! My favorite is a purslane, watermelon and feta salad. I've never sauteed it - must try with garlic and chilis. Thanks for the new idea.

Kelly said...

Are you kidding me? I could have made a FORTUNE at my previous home. I grew the you-know-WHAT out of that stuff there. ;) I would never have guessed it was edible. Go figure.

Sunday Cook said...

Abby - that salad sounds great. Now that local watermelon is here, I'll have to try it.

Kelly - I crack my local farmer up. I ask if I can go into the fields and pick it (it grows really well between cornstalk), like he's doing me a favor. He always laughs and tells me if I want to weed his fields for free, I'm welcome to! :-)

Elle said...

The woman at the farmers market told me to sautee it with lemon and garlic and toss it with pasta (which was great) but I can't wait to try it in a salad now.

Sunday Cook said...

Elle, that sounds great. Did you use the leaves only, or the whole plant? Did you chop it up before sauteeing - must know more!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin