Stacy Cowley is CNNMoney's tech editor. She's in a complicated relationship with her CSA and explores the odd vegetables that show up in her haul in CSI: CSA. Previously, she battled amaranth greens.
“I’m not going to eat the purslane,” my friend Amy announced as we collected our CSA shares. “I grew up weeding that ^%$#.”
My CSA often coughs up veggies and greens you don’t usually see in the supermarket, but until Amy foisted her purslane share on me, I hadn’t realized the haul would include actual weeds.
Amy, who comes from rural Colorado, says she used to spend hours each week as a kid hunting down purslane shoots and fighting their attempts to take over her family’s vegetable patch. The USDA classifies it as “invasive and noxious.” Google its official name, “portulaca oleracea,” and you’ll get a long list of advice on killing it; Google “purslane” and you get tips for cooking it.
After a few dubious pokes at my tangly and now twice-as-big pile of purslane weeds, I gave them a rinse and cut off a stem to nibble. I was surprised: I normally find raw greens pretty blah, but purslane has a crisp, tangy and to me slightly lemony flavor. It’s a tasty noxious pest.
It’s also apparently a super-nutritious one. Purslane has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other green veggie, and it’s also a good source of Vitamin C, calcium and potassium.
The easiest thing to do with purslane is simply to toss it into a salad along with any other leafy greens you have on hand. But that’s pretty boring - I wanted options that would showcase my weed.
In one of my first experiments, I threw it into pasta, along with some bacon, sautéed onions, garlic, bread crumbs and olive oil. Verdict: Not bad! I’ve also seen recommendations for mixing it Turkish-style into yogurt with garlic and red pepper flakes, stir-frying it with soy sauce and sesame oil, and using it to top a green-veggie soup.
I went the salad route a few times with my purslane, but only after dulling the nutritional edge by obeying my cardinal rule of salad-making: Everything is Better with Cheese. An Epicurious recipe suggests mixing purslane, parsley and cherry tomatoes with a lemon-shallot vinaigrette. That sounded way too healthy, so I also tossed in chunks of fried Halloumi cheese.
I still haven’t convinced Amy to try any of my purslane concoctions, but hey - if it means I keep getting her share of each week, I’m perfectly happy to fan the flames of her hate-hate relationship with her childhood nemesis.
Previously - CSI: CSA – multiplying greens and the mystery of amaranth and With a CSA, Mother Nature is your personal chef and Clarified: What is a CSA? and Ramps, fiddleheads, fava beans and other spring vegetables about which people are freaking out
Look for the beauty around you–in nature, in others, in yourself–and believe in the love of friends,
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Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.",-..
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Purslane is so purvasive that You could feed the world on what grows wild. Once you have it in your yard you can't get rid of it. Pull it as a weed and let it lay on a pile for weeks and it is still green. I have eaten it and it is crucnchy and tastes okay in salads. Their are a lot of things "weeds" that grow in people yards that are edible. Puffalls before they explode can be fried like any mushroom. Eat well.
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This stuff is indeed good. My dad found some growing in the garden and made it into pork tacos... yummy! Apparently they eat it regularly down in Mexico. We gringos just need to get with the program, apparently. There's lots of good food that doesn't come neatly wrapped in plastic.
I wonder if adding a little cocaine might further enhance the salad's flavor.
Oh, they mean that weed.......
The article just isn't as interesting now.
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My mother was from the old county. We were eating purslane and dandelions salads, hummus and pita bread long before they became fashionable. The old ways are always the best!
Know what you mean , mine was an old parish girl from Louisiana
I guess no one reads Ewell Gibbons any more. His books will open your eyes to all the possibilities of edible wild plants. Just make sure you know what you're eating.
Alas, after some searching I am unable to find his books online or even determine whether they are now in the public domain (they should be, he died in 1975).
Abebooks.com will probably be able to hook you up with some used copies of books in his bibliography. I remember the Grape-nuts commercials even now. And no, they wouldn't be in public domain. Only books published prior to I think, 1923 or thereabouts are at this time.
Dang, you beat me to referencing Ewell Gibbons. "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts *are* edible." heh heh
i have found his books on ebay.
Clever headline! Probably got 4 times the views than if you added an "s" to weed.
I agree! I thought it was a reference to "weed" which DOES make any salad taste much better!
LOL probably more like 400 times the # of views
420 times as many.
Caught me! I didn't finish it.
We have found a noxious weed here call garlic mustard. It grows along most streams around our area. I've used it in salads, pastas, soups, I've even made it into a pesto. It ca take the place of spinach, basil, collards. Most anything you want to have a garlicky flavor it works great. And as for RAMPs alls I can say isYUMM!!! If you haven't ever had them you are truly missing out.
Not really,.....Im standing down wind from you
I'd like to try this, but I worry I may accidentally mistake purslane for another plant that's toxic. How do I not make that mistake and are there other toxic weeds that resemble this plant?? Thank you.
Yes, spurge is a little similar, but mildly toxic. Here's the difference:
just pulled some of that out of the garden today. Now that I know it is edable. I wil find out how it works in a collard green, swiss chard, salad. I like a vegge salad. with onion,carrots,bellpeper, tomato turnip, and what ever else from the garden chped up in a leaf salad. With dressing and dryed cheese on it. And a touch of lambquarter if any of that has come back up after being pulled.
Purslane is rather distinguished.
First off, it's got succulent leaves with round lobes. The only thing that reminds me of it are those Crassula ovata houseplants. But they're easily distinguished by the tan barky looking stems and much thick larger succulent leaves.
Second, purslane stems are have a purple red hue. These two factors make it extremely easy to identify.
I've harvested a fair amount last year from my garden.
AW MAN I THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE ABOUT HOW TO MAKE A MARIJUANA SALAD!!!!!!!!!!!
BACK TO SMOKING IT I SUPPOSE!!!!!!
You can eat them with meat and chile or pork and chile verde, with eggs and vegetables, They are very healty and delicious.
Yes, I don't like it raw but I do like it sautéed in olive oil and garlic.
DOES THIS GROW IN florida ??
YES IT doesnt
YES IT doesnt
BOb does that mean yes or no ?
Actually I would prefer to smoke a little weed. That will make ANY salad taste better!
I've been eating purselane for YEARS! I prepare it by sautee-ing it w/olive oil and garlic and a little bit of butter, and then toss it into some cooked spaghetti. YUMMY - weeds and pasta!!
My girlfriend tossed my salad last night. It was awesome.
A COUPLE GOOD J'S WOULD MAKE ANY SALAD TASTE GOOD
My mother and grandmother used to make soup with purslane and it was delicious.
If anyone was looking for real weed/canna recipes, just google the name 'BadKittySmiles'! Everything from herb salads, to chocolate liqueur cordials!
You ever see the back of a twenty dollar bill... on weed?
I don't blame the writer of this article, because I know the writers don't get to pick headlines... but CNN knew what it was doing when it chose to put "Weed makes a tasty salad" on its homepage. I wonder how many other people are going to come to this article and completely ignore it after realizing it's not about marijuana. It almost seems like it's doing the author more of an injustice.
I just had to comment on this brief observation. You guys have a great day!
All CNNs headlines do this. They are are sensationalizing everything that they can.
While I suspect you are correct in that whatever CNN employee wrote the headline was going for that effect, I also will point out that not everyone thinks of that when they see the word 'weed'. I know I sure didn't. I grew up in small town Midwest and heard of lots of people eating things you would think of as weeds – including purslane, burdock, dandelions, and others.
... and lambsquarter, known as quelite in Spanish.
Wait...headlines teasing readers to look at a story?? CNN must have invented this!
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Of all the herbs and "weeds" that grow naturally, this is not one of the more tasty ones and the health benefits don't seem to be any better than lettuces. It's more of the silly hype that the farm-to-table movement has caused – don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the freshest foods available, but this nonsense is not necessary.
looks like someone tossed his salad
Man I thought you said WEED.
I just started experimenting with this. It's lemony when pickled but it is kind of messy and you'd probably have to eat it with a fork. When I did the quick boil prior to cooking it smelled like a combo of cabbage, spinach, and beans so I'm thinking maybe corned beef and purslane (instead of cabbage) might be good. I also think the stir-fry sounds good and also maybe a spanicopida, or quiche would work? I stopped trying to kill this and actually let it grow to eat it now.
This is just one of hundreds of delicious, overlooked wild herbs, greens, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, roots, and mushrooms most people don't know about. I've been leading foraging tours throughout the Greater NY area for over 30 years, and foraging is finally catching on. To learn more, check out http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com.
This is just one of hundreds of common, delicious, easy-to-recognize wild foods that most people don't know about. I've been teaching people about foraging in the Greater NY area for over 30 years, and it's finally catching on. To learn more about the subject, check out http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com.
Not bad raw, but when cooked, it gets a bit slimy – similar to okra in texture.
Yes. And it kind of has this diahrea like smell to it.
I bought purslane seeds from Territorial Seed this spring (couldn't find any growing wild that I was sure was it) and am growing for eating. It is growing slowly here in the Pacific NW (a very cold summer so far), so I have a bit more until we can eat it.
Had to laugh when I saw this – buying seeds for purslane sounds about like buying seeds for dandelions or crabgrass!
me too...won't everyone in his surrounding area be happy for the weeds growing in their yards.
Careful, if it's not a native plant and is identified as an invasive species, bringing it in may be illegal.
I honestly thought this article was going to be a variation on pot brownies....
So delicious! Much better than dandelion or root grass.
So so so healthy for you. I believe this has more omegas than any other plant!
One can never go wrong with weed.
Amen....is it weed:30 yet
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