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Purslane grows in a low-spreading, matted pattern from a single taproot. It has smooth red cylindrical stems that branch out, reaching up to 30 centimeters long and a meter wide. The fleshy green leaves are flat with oval, teardrop or spoon shapes, with the broadest end opposite the stem measuring 1 to 5 centimeters long. At maturity the plant produces small, yellow, 5-petaled flowers. Purslane offers a toothsome and juicy texture with a slightly tart, salty flavor with hints of lemon.
Purslane is available in the spring and through the early fall months.
Purslane is a type of succulent green, botanically known as Portulaca oleracea, and is sometimes referred to as Portulaca, Little Hogweed, and Common or Garden Purslane. It is not the same plant commonly known as “sea purslane,” which has a similar appearance but is an entirely different species. Garden Purslane is a summer annual and is used as both an herb and a vegetable. It is sometimes mistaken for a weed in cultivated gardens in temperate climates earning it the nicknames Little Hogweed and Pigweed.
Purslane is nutrient dense and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, containing more than any other green vegetable. It contains high amounts of protein and fiber, and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and sodium. Purslane contains beta-carotene and alpha-linolenic acid, as well as a variety of potassium salts, amino acids, and flavonoids which provide antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Purslane are used as both an herb and a leafy green. The leaves and smaller, tender stems are added to summer salads and cold noodle dishes or chopped and added to fruit salads or salsas. Add leaves to quesadillas or hot or cold sandwiches. Purslane can be steamed or sautéed along with other vegetables. The mucilaginous nature of the leaves act as a thickener, like okra, in soups and stews and sauces. In Greece, the leaves are fried in olive oil and mixed with feta, tomato, onion, garlic and oregano. The leaves can be pickled or fermented to preserve. Store fresh Purslane in the refrigerator in a bag or container for up to 5 days.
Purslane has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used to treat hot flashes and as a natural antibiotic. The Chinese call it Ma Chi Xian and regard it as a longevity herb. The juice of the plant has been used to detoxify and to treat coughs. The leaves were historically used for poultices and used for burns, skin irritation and insect stings. Tea was made with the leaves to treat head and stomach aches.
The exact origin of Purslane is unknown, but it is believed to be native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Indian subcontinent. There is evidence of Purslane being cultivated and used for both medicinal and culinary purposes as far back as 4,000 years. It was said to be used as a common vegetable in the Roman Empire. The succulent herb is found growing throughout Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, India, Asia, and Australia. It is found in Britain and a few cooler northerly climates. Purslane was brought to North America during pre-Colombian times and is found growing naturally throughout most of the country. It is popularly used throughout Mexico as a vegetable green and is called Verdolagas. Purslane is most often spotted at farmer’s markets and specialty stores.
Recipes that include Purslane. One is easiest, three is harder.
|NY Times||Purslane Salad With Cherries and Feta|
|Kalyn's Kitchen||Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane, Mint, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette|
|Healthy Green Savvy||Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie with Purslane, Pineapple, and Ginger|
People have shared Purslane using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Central market of Athens Greece
Lalas S.ANear Athens, Attiki, Greece
Central market of Athens M 18-20
About 311 days ago, 8/27/19
Sharer's comments : Purslane 🇬🇷
Issaquah Farmers Market
Steel Wheel FarmNear NW Sammamish Rd & 11th Ave NW, Washington, United States
Fall City, WA
About 328 days ago, 8/10/19
Sharer's comments : Often mistaken for a weed, but this little succulent green is nutritionally dense and fantastic in salads or salsa!!
Sasoun Produce Near West Hollywood, California, United States
About 355 days ago, 7/14/19
Sharer's comments : Many Other fresh Herbs available
Leucadia Farmer's Market
Gaytan Family FarmsNear Encinitas, California, United States
About 376 days ago, 6/23/19
La Mesa Farmers Market Near La Mesa, California, United States
About 399 days ago, 5/31/19
Santa Monica Farmers Market
SpecialtyNear Santa Monica, California, United States
About 401 days ago, 5/29/19
Sharer's comments : Purslane!
Redland Market Square Farmers Market
Redland Market VillageNear Princeton, Florida, United States
24420 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead 33032
About 530 days ago, 1/20/19
Sharer's comments : Purslane spotted at Redland Market Square Farmers Market.
Issaquah Farmers Market
Bautista FarmsNear NW Sammamish Rd & 11th Ave NW, Washington, United States
2041 Murray Rd, Mabton 98935
About 671 days ago, 9/01/18
Sharer's comments : Purslane spotted at Issaquah Farmers Market. Excellent source of Omega-3 and yummy in salad!
Vista Farmers Market
Francisco Valdivia - Valdivia FarmsNear Vista, California, United States
About 727 days ago, 7/07/18
Sharer's comments : Purslane spotted at Vista Farmers Market.