Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wild and wonderful Purslane

Purslane seems to be on everyone's mind lately.  There is domesticated, that is growing all over my garden, unseeded by me this year, and undomesticated, that is growing all over my garden this year.

Both good.  Really, really good.

According to my book "Edible Wild Plants" by John Kallas, PhD , purslane is wildly popular in the Mediterranean and has more omega 3's than any other leafy green.  Double that of kale.

As well it has big quantities of Vitamin E, important antioxidants and as much iron as spinach.

Need more info?  Read here to get the full story from the always useful Mother Earth News. 

Can you believe it?  This stuff grows everywhere!

In my experience, purslane growing in your garden is the sign of a rich, soil.  I'm actually feeling pretty good about what its' presence is telling me about my garden soil this year.

Purslane is yummy in salads, with it's succulent leaves that have a slight hint of lemon.  Or how about stir-fried, with peppers.  

Or pesto!

This recipe is from

Parpadelle with Spinach and Purslane Pesto

Parpadelle with Spinach and Purslane Pesto


1 Cup Purslane
6 oz Spinach
6 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Whole Onion roughly chopped
1 Clove of Garlic sliced
1 Jalepeno finely chopped
1/2 Cup Pecans roughly chopped
Handful of Basil
Handful of Oregano
The zest and juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Ground Black Pepper
1 Lb Parpardelle
If you haven't tried Purslane, I suggest you do an internet search for it. Chances are it's growing in your garden, or in the cracks of your sidewalk. Give it a try!

Roughly chop the onion and jalepeno and throw them in a hot pan with the olive oil. You’re going to cook them until the onions just start to color. As that’s going, slice the garlic and zest the lemon. As the onions go translucent, throw in the garlic and lemon zest and stir. Wash the spinach and purslane, chopping the stalks of both into small pieces. Take half of the basil and oregano and give them a rough chop as well. Throw it all into the pan and stir it around for a few minutes until the greens start to wilt. At this point you can take it off the heat and transfer it into a blender or food processor along with 2/3 the Pecans, Salt, and Pepper. Pulse the mixture until it is a creamy consistency and the nuts are mixed in. Toss it with he cooked pasta adding a small amount of the pasta water to loosen it up. Finish with a a squeeze of lemon and the remainder of Basil and Oregano.


Green Zebra Market Garden said...

That's an interesting thought about purslane being a sign of rich soil. I have noticed that this is the first year I've had a lot of purslane in my vegetable beds. The garden is three years old, so maybe the soil is getting better each year.

Linda said...

I bet it is too. Purslane doesn't grow in a compacted or barren soil. I see it as a good sign!

Brewer said...

I agree. When I first started gardening at our current home there was no purslane. Lots of bindweed though. I've had a couple loads of well rotted manure over the years, and I bring home 30+ bags of leaves each Fall, plus I have 4 composters going and it has made a huge difference in the soil structure and fertility of the garden, AND now that I think of it, every year there has been more and more purslane.

JMTheComputerGuy said...

Does anyone know how I would grow Purslane in a garden?
I have never seen seeds from the plant.
I do know that they need a minimum temperature of +20C to germinate which is why u only start seeing them in June.
Maybe once I see one growing I can cut bits of the stem and put it in a growing solution then transplant after it roots?
It does grow in my driveway..... which I figure is compacted so ???