Purslane is one of those plants that grows unbidden all over, and yet, it is embraced by foodies around the world for its succulent leaves and stems. Originally from India, this fleshy plant resembles baby jade plants.
It grows wild in Farmer John’s fields, and is an added bonus to his propagation. It has a mild sweet-sour flavor and chewy texture that works well in salads.
In taste, it has been likened to watercress or spinach.
Use purslane in salads or on sandwiches instead of lettuce or pickles. Purslane can also be cooked, steamed, stir-fried, or puréed. It tends to get a bit slimy if overcooked. It can be substituted for spinach or wild greens in many recipes. You can also steam them, or add them to soups and stews.
Nutritionally, it has one of the highest Vitamin E values of any plant, and has more beta carotene than in carrots! So eat up!
Purslane is best if used fresh, but if you store it, wrap it in a moist paper towel, in a plastic bag, in the veggie bin of your fridge. Wash, remove larger stems, and use as recipes direct.