INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT

Super-Foods: The Benefits of Cooking with Purslane

Super-Foods: The Benefits of Cooking with Purslane
May 20, 2013
E. Brandy

Although purslane is considered a weed in many places, it is not only edible, but very nutritious. A staple food in the Mediterranean diet, it contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant and adds a nice crunch to your salads. Its high concentration of vitamin C  — higher than apples —, and no calories,  makes this food a good companion for your diet. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the middle east, Asia, Mexico and gains more popularity in United States.

How to cook with Purslane?

Purslane is a very versatile ingredient your can use fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked just like spinach. Thanks to its mucilaginous quality, purslane also is suitable for soups, stews, and vegetable juices. Toss it with arugula leaves or romaine salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, few slices of cucumber to make a delicious mixed greens salad. You can sprinkle raw leaves over your usual accompaniments for meats or grilled foods. But these are not the only uses for this lovely plant. But before cooking, you need some preparation.

How to prepare purslane for cooking?

As for every type of salads, purslane need to be washed to eliminate sand, dirt, small insects and bacterias. Wash it thoroughly under running water then soak it in water with a few drops of vinegar to kill bacteria.

Make a purslane veloute

Make purslane sweat along with shallots in butter before adding potato cubes. Add 3/4 liter of chicken stock and let simmer for 3 minutes. Mix with your hand blender and serve with a dash of Argan oil.

Prepare a purslane salad with walnut oil dressing

Wash purslane as explained above, then dry it. Place purslane on small plates, then top with halved cherry tomatoes. Slat and pepper, add a dash of lemon juice and drizzle with walnut oil. Serve cold.

Where to buy purslane?

You might fid purslane in your local supermarket, but you’ll be more successful at farmer’s markets. Look for organic products. Four Sisters farm in Aromas, CA grows purslane among other interesting produce. So if you’re in the area, maybe you can get in touch with the Gammon family, check their link for the markets calendar. Four Sisters Farm, 1431 Cole Road, Aromas, CA 95004.

Do you want more purslane recipes?

Ok, I know you want more, so here’s a mini round-up of delicious recipes recipes using purslane, by some of our favorite bloggers around the Internet:

(Credit photo: K1KJZ via Flicker)

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