Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Pesky Weed or Food of the Future?
I’ve been pulling this prolific weed out of my flower beds for years and the more I yank out, the more that quickly grow back to choke out my lovely flowers. Then one day I happened across an article that claimed that Purslane is one of the most nutritious greens on the planet! It’s loaded with more beta-carotene than spinach, as well as high levels of magnesium and potassium. Purslane has alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as make the blood less likely to form clots.
Ok it’s edible but does it taste good? Well I visited several Vegan web sites to learn more about this amazing food. When a Vegan tells you “It imparts a crisp green flavor to fresh salads,” that’s code for not telling you, “It’s tastes like grass!” Oh well, I went off to find recipes and I found plenty on the web.
I found that it’s a green often used like spinach, or pickled, and it’s eaten around the world and especially in Mexico where it is called “Verdolago.” I decided to try making VERDOLAGO CON QUESO, but I added onion and garlic to the mix.
Here’s the recipe:
“Collect tender purslane, including the stems, and carefully rinse to remove any sand or soil. Gently boil for about two minutes or until tender. Drain the water and chop the purslane into smaller pieces. Return the purslane to the frying pan and shred the jack cheese over it. Keep the purslane in the pan just until the cheese melts. Be careful not to over-melt the cheese. Serve warm. Serves 2.”
Review: Charles liked it better than spinach but he said it had a bit of a bite. I couldn’t get my distaste for this uninvited weed that ruined my flowerbeds out of my head. So, I guess my fondness for food is directly related to my personal experience with certain plants.
If you’d like to try eating some purslane, just call me and I’ll let you weed my flowerbeds!
So what if you just want to get rid of this weed? Most likely once the seeds get into your soil, you will just have to replace the soil. Part of the reason for its evolutionary success is that a single plant can produce up to 52,300 seeds. What's more, purslane seeds can survive for up to 30 years in undisturbed soil!