Purslane – the tasty weed

Posted on 3 min read

In some regards, this plant is known as an invasive weed. Yet many know better than to kill it with herbicides. Instead, bring it to the table!

Raw or cooked, this plant has a great nutritional value and adds a fresh lemony taste.

A vitamin bomb with pretty flowers

Purslane is seldom sold in grocery stores or farmers’ markets, But it easily can be foraged in the wild (or simply order it at Farmy). Feel free to grow it in your garden, too, of course. This weed has copious amounts of vitamins and simply looks very pretty when in bloom.

Purslane has been cultivated for more than 3000 years. It is known to be consumed in ancient Egypt, Greece and Roman Empire, as well as in India and Persia, where it originates. Now purslane has spread across the globe.

Purslane and the Portuguese soup

Purslane has a thickening quality when cooked. So it’s a great ingredient to some hearty soups. Let’s look at this authentic Portuguese soup recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 40 g / 1,5 oz of chorizo (or any other spicy sausage meat), cut in 2-3 slices
  • 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine
  • 600 g / 1 lb 5 oz potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 litres / 52 oz of warm chicken stock
  • 85 g / 3 oz of rice (or bulgur) parboiled
  • 125 g / 4,5 oz purslane leaves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Lemon juice

Preparation:

  1. Set a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter.
  2. Add and sautée the onion until it becomes translucent. 
  3. Throw in the carrot and the chorizo. 
  4. Add the garlic cloves to the mixture and cook to release the aroma.
  5. In the same pan, add the white wine. Let it cook until almost all liquid is evaporated.
  6. Transfer the potatoes to the pan.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and sautée the mixture for a few more minutes.
  8. Take 1,5 litres / 52 oz of warm chicken stock, and add to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  9. Remove potatoes and chorizo from the soup and set aside.
  10. Using an electric blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Roughly mash the removed potatoes and set them aside.
  11. Add the rice (or bulgur) to the pot with the soup. Let the soup come to a boil again. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  12. Now add the mashed potatoes and the purslane leaves. Simmer the soup for a few more minutes.
  13. Lastly, stir in cinnamon and a splash of lemon juice. Serve the soup with fresh mint leaves and a warm loaf of bread.

Other great matches with purslane

Wondering what else purslane might be good with? Think of baby spinach since plants are interchangeable. Hence, feel free to use purslane in smoothies. Just add oranges, bananas and honey to balance the sour lemony taste.

Curries, too, are an obvious place for this succulent plant. Purslane is claimed to be Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite herb.

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