The Many Ways of Purslane


The enlarged clover-like leaves, the purple tinged stems, the blaring Omega 3 endorsement. Purslane, a green I’ve yet to hear of, grabbed the five dollars right out of my worn wallet.

When I mentioned to some foodie friends that I bought this mysterious-to-me green, they dismissed it. It was too stemy. It was nothing special. I’m here to promote purslane, and not just because its name reminds me of my favorite accessory.

eggs with purslane

Purslane #1
I quickly cooked the chopped up green in butter, added in halved sungold tomatoes (My very favorite variety this year; as my friend Jeb noted: they’re so sweet it reminds you why a tomato is actually a fruit), shoved them to the side of the pan—added more butter!—and scrambled two farm fresh eggs. When the eggs were almost cooked, I stirred everything together and hit it with salt and pepper.

couscous with purslane

Purslane #2
I’m not really a fan of regular couscous, but I love the more doughy Israeli couscous. I broke down a tomato with oil and garlic, added in the couscous, covered with water and let it simmer for a few minutes. While that was cooking, I broiled disks of eggplant, tossed with oil, salt and pepper. Everything was thrown together, with chopped purslane over top, barely wilting from the heat of its companions.

Purslane #3, #4, #5
Tossed in with cold peanut-soy noodles; emerged in an Indian-esque ginger stew with tomatoes and eggplant; buzzed around with fresh oregeno for a pesto-ish spread…

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  • jenny August 25, 2009  

    I had purslane in both my salad and my dinner at Nora a few weeks ago and had no idea what it was when I ordered both the dishes.

    Needless to say, because it was Nora, they were both fabulous. Love the purslane. Everyone needs another pretentiously-named green.

  • Maids August 25, 2009  

    I think purslane #2 looks especially delicious

  • Yvo August 25, 2009  

    I received some in my CSA a few weeks back and it rotted in my fridge because I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Gansie is my hero, if it appears again, I will try better to not let it go to waste. (Did you mostly keep the stems or did you break the leaves off the stem? That was step 1 to putting me off it.)

  • gansie August 25, 2009  

    sometimes i cut off and chucked the larger stems, but most of the time i just chopped everything up and it was great.

  • LC August 25, 2009  

    I was starting to get nervous there would be no pesto-ish spread but you pulled it out in the end. Is there anything you can NOT make into a pesto-ish spread? This may be another post entirely.

  • gansie August 25, 2009  

    glad not to disappoint, LC.

    i was talking to my dad the other night and he’s all into basil at the moment and has been throwing all sorts of insane shit into a blender and calling it a pesto. not sure where the line is drawn.

    for another pesto-ish post i did i actually looked up the meaning of pesto and it emphasized that it was a raw sauce. so now im thinking that if i cook kale and then whiz it around, that i cant call it pesto and it just has to be called kale sauce, which kinda sounds gross, no?

    i’ll have to get my dad on here to explain his latest “pesto”

  • Vicki August 25, 2009  

    Mexican friends of mine call purslane “verdolagas”, saute it somehow with garlic and onion, maybe a bit of chile. Delicious.

  • Dave August 26, 2009  

    9 dollars a pound?! You can find purslane growing wild all over the place this time of the year (at least here in Virginia). It grows in yards, along streets, in fields, even parking lots….I have been picking 2 varieties of it for the last few weeks, adding it to various meals. Just learn to identify it and you will be amazed how many places it grows. I am fascinated by this plant!

  • dad gansie August 26, 2009  

    who need super woman when we have gansie at the helm

    crazy @ $9. lb. does it work as earings to go with your fav assessory, purses; gang she still has a bunch of them home that sister gansie uses

    gansie swap me some sungold for my homegrown nj best tomes.

    your dishes look great and tasty

    my not pesto type pesto as i call it my kitchen sink pesto:
    since i found some basil in my garden, didn’t think it came up. so, with gansie in mind i had to do something different
    she gave me the idea of chic peas so i sauted them in some evvo, with mushrooms, garlic, yelllow and red onions, red pepper, S& P and the basil all in a 16 oz. magic bullet blender ( it’s a neat thing really grat for smoothies) (that’s another blog) i got from my mom before snow birding to Fl
    it came out pretty tasty. waiting for broth and sister gansie’s opinion

    gansie, find me a p root to see if will grow up here, any parking lot one will work

  • dad gansie August 26, 2009  

    gansie mom liked your purse comment

  • Asamoska July 9, 2012  

    Throw away the bigger stems? No way. I toss the bigger stems in with my pickles. Pickled purslane is excellent.

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