Purslane

plant

Today’s bounty from the allotment consisted of tomatoes, green pepper, basil and purslane.

tomatoes-from-allotment

Until a few weeks ago I had not heard of purslane.  I was helping our friend Miko load something in her car and I noticed a plant.  I asked what it was.  She wasn’t certain, but thought it was purslane.  She had just picked it from her daughter’s garden and was planning to look the plant up in a gardening book.  She told me that it grows like a weed but is apparently edible.  I was curious because I recognized it as a plant I had been pulling up at the allotment.
garden
The next time I saw Miko we looked purslane up on the Internet and confirmed that it was the plant we’d both been encountering.  We learned it can be eaten raw or cooked. I was ready to give it a try so I picked some at the allotment and added it to a salad.

Dan describes it as a bit like watercress, though the leaves are more succulent.  It doesn’t have a very distinct taste but makes a nice addition to a salad.  I can imagine putting it in a sandwich too.

And that’s not all. A quick google search of ‘purslane properties’ identified it as a therapeutic herb and revealed a wealth of benefits. According tolivestrong.com it is one of the most abundant vegetable sources of of omega-3 fatty acids which are thought by many doctors and nutritionists to reduce inflammation, help prevent chronic disease, lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, and enhance cognitive function. Not bad for a leggy little plant that is often treated like a weed.

I saw Miko again this evening.  She offered us a loaf of her homemade multigrain sourdough bread.  I gave her some of my tomatoes in return.  We both were very pleased with our trade.

john-and-miko

live. enjoy. repeat.

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