by Holly Madrigal
Purslane is considered a weed by many since it grows readily in the hot spaces between garden beds. Each plant will release hundreds of thousands of seeds, so if you grow one, it's basically with you forever—which could be wonderful, since one person's weed is another person’s superfood.
Purslane leaves are tiny green gems of vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids. Known around the world, it can be found in cuisines in India, Spain, and Turkey, among others. We are lucky that it grows abundantly in Northern California.
Since it grows along the ground, rinse well and add to a water bath with a teaspoon of vinegar. Agitate to remove grit and drain. Pick leaves from thicker stems and add to salads, puree in dressings, or use to stuff fish. The flavor of fresh purslane is like bright green lemon pepper. What a weed!
Easy Purslane Summer Salad
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
½ c purslane leaves, thick stems removed, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
½ c small fresh mozzarella balls, chopped
2-3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients by stirring gently, and eat up.