Philacatessen | Purslane

Photos by Keri White

Ever on the hunt for new and interesting produce, I happened upon purslane last week.

I had heard of the plant as a decorative flower — my next-door neighbors have it cascading beautifully and colorfully out of their window boxes — but was not aware of its role in the kitchen.

I did a bit of research and learned that purslane is rich in vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorous. It also provides essential omega-3s, which have been shown to help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Best of all, purslane is delicious and requires almost no preparation. I have enjoyed it both raw and cooked in the following ways …

Purslane Tomato Salad

Serves two to four

2 large, ripe tomatoes, heirloom if possible

1½ cups purslane, thick stems removed

Juice of ½ lemon

Generous pinch of salt

Generous grind of fresh cracked pepper

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Toss all ingredients and serve.

Garlic Sautéed Purslane

Serves two

4 cups purslane, rinsed, with tough stems removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

  1. Heat the oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a skillet.
  2. Add the purslane and cook, turning frequently until wilted, about 5 minutes.


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