Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is the plant to plant in your garden, window box or anywhere you have a bit of outdoor sunshine. It is a drought resistant, succulent, often considered a weed by farmers and gardeners. However, this plant is packed with nutrients. Perhaps most significantly, it is high in the anti-inflammatory, brain, and hormone nourishing omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, it is high in vitamin A and E along with the following minerals – calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
While most farmers and gardeners weed purslane from their fields, this beauty is sold in small bunches at the Union Square Farmer’s Market in NYC for $4.00 a bunch (approximately 2 cups worth!)! Grow it yourself for pennies on those dollars or ask your CSA if you can weed some of it for yourself. They’ll be grateful and you’ll be well fed.
You can add it to salads, use it to make pesto and you can also freeze it and add it to soups, stews, more pesto and stir-fry’s throughout the year. To use it clip off the roots and thoroughly was the leaves and stems. To freeze it, after cleaning, steam it gently. Let it cool and then store it in freezer bags or Pyrex containers. You can then thaw it and use it by adding it to whatever you are cooking.
Check out an earlier post for a purslane salad recipe.