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Purslane in the Garden and in the Kitchen

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In the garden In the kitchen

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I first encountered purslane in the books of Diana Kennedy. In Spanish, it's known as vedolagas and often teamed with pork and tomatillos for a tangy stew that I can't get enough of. I found it in my garden when I took up tomato-growing and was pleased that the succulent weed came up so easily by the root. Once I identified it as purslane, I took the weeds to the farmers market where I was thrilled to see I could get $3 a pound for my waste! All of my purslane customers were Mexican or Indian and they were very grateful to see the vegetable for sale.

Purslane is a succulent but it's soft. You can add it to a salad, but not very often. It's a very particular taste and I think you'll get tired of it pretty fast. I like to saute it with onion, garlic and serrano chiles and then use it as a filling for tacos, or if I'm ambitious, tamales. It's actually delicious like this, not just a healthy weed. Did you know purslane has Omega 3 oils in it? Who needs the mercury in fish?

The purslane is dying back with the cold but there still is plenty here. If you don't see it, ask a grower at your farmers market if they can bring you some.

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(Reposted from an entry from 2006)



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