purslaneraw

Silky Purslane with Garlic

We shop at Farms View in Wayne, NJ, a farm close to our home, from spring through fall. We always find amazing produce, and this week, we happened upon purslane. The leaves looked succulent and juicy; the stems were a bright rose. I grabbed a bunch and for lunch today, we cooked some of the tender leaves with just a bit of garlic and olive oil. They were sweet, a cross between spinach and cucumber in flavor, which may sound odd, but is really quite delicious.

Had I known the purslane would wilt down so much, I would have cooked the entire bunch. You’ll need about 1 pound to serve two people a healthy side dish, because by the time you strip the leaves off the stems and account for shrinkage in the pan, you will have very little.

Preparing purslane is very easy: trim off the roots; soak the leaves and stems in several changes of cool water to get rid of grit; strip the leaves from the stems (tender stems can be kept, as they soften when cooked); wash again; and drain thoroughly before cooking. My husband planted the roots in soil to see if they will grow. After all, purslane is a weed, so hopefully it will thrive as most weeds do!

With the remaining purslane, I am planning a filling for ravioli. Or maybe a chilled summer soup with a bit of yogurt, scallions, and dill. Either way, I’ll briefly boil the purslane to soften. I’ll keep you posted!

Serves 2 as a side dish

  • 1 pound purslane (1 large bunch), trimmed and prepared (see introductory note)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wash the purslane thoroughly after getting rid of stems and roots, then dry it thoroughly.

Place the olive oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat. When the garlic begins to release its aroma, add the purslane.

purslanecooked

Cook 2 minutes, tossing with tongs or stirring with a spoon, until wilted. Season with the salt, adjust the seasoning if needed, and serve hot or at room temperature.

purslaneraw