Purslane is my favorite plant to forage in the summer, and probably my favorite foraged plant altogether, as its very mild and versatile, can be eaten both raw and cooked, and it also grows very nicely in my window boxes. Though I do need to supplement whats in my window boxes with what's growing wild, because my window boxes can't keep up with my demand for purslane.
Read more about foraging purslane here to find out how you can pick it yourself. If you live near a Mexican population and there is a Mexican market near you, its called verdolagas in Spanish and used in Mexican cooking. (I've also seen it sold occasionally in the open air market near me.)
One thing that's remarkable, in my opinion, about purslane is that it tastes so similar to string beans when it's cooked! I rarely buy string beans because they're not so cheap here usually, but purslane is free and can be used to replace string beans in recipes. So this recipe, though I use it for purslane, originally comes from a string bean recipe, and can be used for green beans, wax beans, etc... or purslane, of course.
1 large bunch purslane (approximately from 2 large plants, or half of a large mixing bowl)
OR 1/2 pound fresh string beans
1-3 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar (apple cider, white wine, red wine, or white vinegar is fine)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 pinch salt
1. Remove the tough woody center from your purslane plant. If using green beans, trim ends.
2. Saute the purslane greens or string beans in a bit of oil until soft. Remove from pan. If using string beans, feel free to steam instead.
3. Chop onions and saute in oil until light brown. Add to purslane or string beans.
4. Chop fresh garlic, saute until golden. Add.
5. Mix mustard and vinegar. Add. Mix well.
6. Season with salt to taste.
Serve hot or cold.
Here's the final results. I know, its NOT the most photogenic food, but I implore you, don't judge a book by its cover, and don't just this lovely purslane, just because it looks like earthworms and caterpillars burrowing through yard clippings. It's quite delicious!
Are you an adventerous eater? Would you eat a dish that looked like this?
Ever foraged purslane before? How you you like to cook with it, or do you prefer it raw?
Do you think you'd try this recipe out, either with string beans or with purslane?
Linking up to Simple Lives Thursday