Foraging Friday: Purslane

While most of the apricots at the apricot orchard were underripe….

…there was plenty of purslane ready for picking!

Purslane is on my foraging bucket list. This is a plant I’m somewhat familiar with, but hadn’t bothered to cook with in the past. Purslane, aka Portulaca oleracea, is a low-growing succulent plant. It is an annual and will not survive frosts, but it self-sows readily, and is essentially considered a weed in many gardens (including in the Seattle Community Garden – it shows up in beds every year, but we don’t plant it).

Purslane is very nutritious, and actually pretty tasty. According to Wisconsin’s Horticulture Extension, purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. (It’s also high in oxalic acid, so be careful if you have kidney problems.) Marie Viljoen describes its taste as, “like succulent baby spinach with some sourness.”

The leaves, stems, and flowers are all edible.

I washed the leaves and turned them into the most delicious salad with cucumber, underripe apricots (tart and crunchy), a few leaves of lettuce from my garden, and queso fresco. The dressing was rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Nate suggested adding sunflower seeds, which would have been a good addition as well.

The leaves are slightly thicker than your typical spinach leaf, so they have a very satisfying chew to them. Even Nate liked them! Two thumbs up! Purslane will be on my menu as often as I can find it!

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