Purslane: All About It
Purslane (portulaca oleracea) or “little hogweed”, is a low sprawling succulent weed that you’ll find growing in your garden, all over your lawn, and even in sidewalk cracks. It’s closely related to the ornamental (not edible) portulaca (portulaca grandiflora) that is for sale in our greenhouse, and while the USDA classifies purslane as a “noxious weed”, this succulent herb is not only edible—it’s packed full of nutrients!
Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids (it has the highest levels of any other green plant) and beta carotene, and is a significant source of vitamins C and E. It is eaten throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico. It has a crunchy, juicy texture and mild flavor—like spinach or watercress—with notes of lemon and pepper.
- Eat it raw in a salad. Rough chop the leaves and most tender parts of the stems.
- Cook it lightly. Bitterness increases as you cook it, and it will get slimy if overcooked.
- Throw it in a soup during the last few minutes of cooking.
HOW TO STORE
Store it, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to a week.
3 WAYS TO PREPARE
- Toss it in a salad with basil, goat cheese, scallions, and tomatoes.
- Use it as a topping on a burger or chicken sandwich.
- Blanch it and then stir fry with ginger, chili, and a splash of rice vinegar.