Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Purslane Is In

This spring we got to do something we have been talking about being able to do for years in SF. We planted our first summer garden. Our goal was modest. We wanted to get a feel for what was possible as well as for the time commitment our small plot would require. We have learned a lot...

Lesson number one, purslane is not a weed. I'm being totally honest when I tell you that I did not recognize this cool green growing almost everywhere in our garden, despite the fact that I must have run into it at the market in SF. Shame on me. For weeks I was pulling it out from in between our rows of veggies unaware of what I was throwing aside.

Purslane is healthy and versatile. High in omega - 3s, it is a crisp, subtly flavored green that can be tossed into salads like an herb. It can also be sauteed, stems and all, with a bit of butter or olive oil and served alongside meat or fish, as well as cooked in a soup or stew. Once cooked it takes on a piquant flavor.

Recently this humble green has garnered a lot of attention. Now that I know what we've got, I'm seeing it everywhere. It is sold at our local farmers market and been highlighted in a number of food related articles I have just read. Planting and harvesting our first summer garden is an ongoing learning experience. Our 'discovery' of purslane and is just one of many valuable lessons learned that I'm passing on.

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