August 31, 2010

All That Purslane - What to do?

Here is some info from a CSA in Illinois on the succulent green veg we've seen a lot of the past few weeks:
Think of it as a weed, and you'll be missing out on one of the most nutritious greens on the planet. Purslane has more beta-carotene than spinach, as well as high levels of magnesium and potassium. Historically it has been used as a remedy for arthritis and inflammation by European cultures. Chinese herbalists found similar benefits, using it in respiratory and circulatory function. Recently, it's been found that purslane has alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Researchers see evidence that these substances lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as make the blood less likely to form clots. And, purslane has only 15 calories per 100 g portion.

Storage: Best if used fresh. But, if you must store it, wrap purslane in a moist paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.

Preparation: Wash. Remove larger stems. Some recipes use leaves only. Purslane can be substituted for spinach or wild greens in lasagnas, filled pastas, and Greek-style tarts.

For links to recipes, including several potato salads and a purslane, lamb and lentil stew, see the complete post here: Prairieland Community Supported Agriculture.

The New York Times Dining section featured purslane in 2006 with two more delicious sounding salads.

[Also, remember that we have veggie tip sheets from Just Food available online. Including one for purslane.]