Verdolagas (Mexican Parsley)
Inventory, 12 ct : 0
This item was last sold on : 01/06/17
This annual succulent is made up of petite dark green tear shaped leaves that grow on dark red stems. The leaves are smooth and shiny and can vary in size from one half to two inches in length. Stems can be up to twelve inches in length and tend to grow in a sprawling fashion creating mat like patches of Verdolagas wherever it’s planted. A highly seedy plant a single Verdolagas plant can produce up to 240,000 seeds. Verdolagas will bloom with yellow flowers that open when exposed to sunshine. The stems, leaves and flowers of Verdolagas are edible and have a slightly salty, tangy, acidic flavor. A mucilaginous plant Verdolagas have a tendency to be slimy with a texture that offers a delicate crunch.
Verdolagas is available year-round.
Botanically known as Portulaca oleracea, Verdolagas is technically classified as a weed in the United States however in the culinary world it is utilized as a leafy green vegetable. Also known as Purslane, Pigweed and Hogweed Verdolagas is a member of the Portulacaceae family along with miners lettuce and rose moss. Currently there are approximately 40 different varieties Verdolagas which vary in leaf and stem color and size as well as in how it grows, upright vs sprawling.
Verdolagas is rich in potassium and magnesium and contains as much beta carotene as spinach. It also contains the omega three fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid, which studies have shown can be helpful in lowering blood pressure and regulating cholesterol levels. Recent studies have also shown that Verdolagas contains a significant amount of melatonin as well.
Prepared fresh or cooked, Verdolagas is featured widely in Latin cuisine and pairs well with tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomatillos, cucumber, chili peppers, dill, corn, potatoes, pork and beef. Prolonged cooking will cut the acidity of Verdolagas and bring out a subtly sweet flavor. Leaves are commonly added to omelets, soups, stews and stir-fries. Use in lieu of spinach in salads, its naturally tangy flavor will pair well with dressings that are more sweet or herbaceous than sour. Season carefully as Verdolagas has a high natural salt content.
In Mexican cuisine Verdolagas is commonly paired with pork and tomatillos in carnitas, tamales and stews. In Japan it is commonly pickled and served with rice. In Russia, Turkey and Lebanon it is used in a variety of salads ranging from tabbouleh to potato salad. It has long been used in Chinese medicine.
This sprawling herb is native to various regions of Europe where it has been grown since the Middle Ages. It was first discovered in the United States in 1672 in Massachusetts though it has failed to catch on as a major crop and is seen agriculturally rather as a weed. Growing plentifully around the world Verdolagas is often found growing in gardens, agricultural areas, parks and lawns. It has long been foraged for and used as a wild vegetable around the world in places like Japan, Greece, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Turkey, Shri Lanka and Morocco. It thrives in warm moist conditions and as a result of its prolific seeding Verdolagas can quickly spread and take over whatever soil it is planted in.
Recipes that include Verdolagas (Mexican Parsley). One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Frugal Chef||Verdolagas Plant Salad|
|Fork Finger Chopsticks||Tacos de Verdolagas y Huevos|
|The Mija Chronicles||Verdolagas (Purslane) in Salsa Verde|
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