Conquering Purslane

With the possible exception of dandelion leaves, I refuse to be defeated by a vegetable. But I will confess that purslane has been a challenge, because it is so meager in appearance and so utterly absent from the 50+ cookbooks I have on my shelves. So I went foraging on the Internet.

Flour tortilla with a purslane-egg filling

Flour tortilla with a purslane-egg filling

First up, a Mexican filling for tortillas, courtesy of Texas A& M. Low on visual appeal perhaps, but tasty thanks to the lemony purslane. Still, the presence of soy sauce (which I cut to 1/2 t) in a Mexican dish makes me question the authenticity. A Greek-influenced potato salad that also calls for cucumbers and red onions was delicious and closer to the mark, although I skipped the jalapenos because they seemed decidedly not Greek. But since I’ve never been to the northern Aegean island of Ikaria that is the supposed origin of this recipe (yes, the island where Icarus did a bit of over-reaching), I’ll leave room for doubt. Good, but oddly less lemon flavor than when the purslane was blanched.

A blog called “Almost Turkish Recipes” caught my eye with a suggestion for combining purslane with tomatoes and rice. I like this one but the kids didn’t, though they generally like rice in any form.

Ikarian purslane and potato salad

Ikarian purslane and potato salad

Unfortunately, it just seems too warm right now for simmering casseroles or I would have tried the Middle Eastern lamb stew from Paula Wolfert or this very intriguing Mexican pork stew, which also uses tomatillos. Ditto barley, although the barley and purslane salad from Faith Willinger’s “Red, White & Greens” cookbook sounds good.

Want to know more about the benefits of purslane? Click here.

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4 Responses

  1. My Mexican relatives love soy sauce. Authentic… no. But, welcome to the new Mexico….

  2. Well, if there’s soy sauce in Mexico then I guess there can be jalapenos in Greece!

  3. We love to just eat purslane raw. The stems are especially good!

  4. This is a great blog!
    Yes, the potato salad with purslane reminds of an Ikarian dish. You were right to skip the jalapenos. We don’t even know what this is.

    Greetings from the island.

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