Monday Market Meals - Purslane

Monday, July 18, 2016


I can't tell you how many times I have pulled purslane from my garden beds where it tried valiantly to find it's place amongst the more desirable herbs and flowers, or from along the edge of my sidewalk where its vining pink stems with teardrop leaves tried to get my attention. Who knew this tender, earthy "weed" was edible?  And not only edible, but packed with nutrients and gentle in flavor?

When purslane made its appearance at the farmer's market last week, I was excited to get it home and try some recipes.  I'll admit, skepticism had me in its grip. A gardener for years, I found it hard to view this annoying weed as something useful.

I decided to try it first in an omelet, so I pulled out a skillet and heated some olive oil with garlic, then threw in a handful of purslane.  After a minute of sizzle, I poured over the egg mixture.  When it was done, I served it to my husband, my truth-telling taste-tester, and waited for his response.

"Well?" I asked breathlessly.

He chewed slowly, then started nodding his head.  "It's really good. I like it," he confirmed.

"You do?" I asked incredulously.

Okay, he did. So I took a tentative bite of fluffy omelet filled with delicate greens.  I couldn't believe it.  Delicious! While the leaves, when eaten fresh, taste of the warm earth because of it's low growth spreading habit, when cooked, it carries such a gentle flavor. I took another bite, and another.  I started wishing I had cooked a fatter omelet!

I tossed the rest of the purslane into a blender with ingredients for a smoothie.  The result was a healthy, nourishing, nutrient-packed boost that will keep me going for hours.  And speaking of nutrients, Michael Pollen, in his book In Defense of Food claims purslane is one of the two most nutritious plants in nature, bursting with calcium, iron, omega-3 and antioxidants. I'll raise my glass of weeds to that.

Purslane and Garlic Omelette 

Purslane and Garlic Omelette
Serves: 2


1/2 cup purslane leaves
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mozzarella or other soft cheese
1 clove garlic, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat olive in skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add garlic and purslane. Saute for about 1 - 2 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk eggs and cream in a bowl. Add cheese and stir. Pour over purslane and garlic in the pan. Reduce heat slightly, and cook until mostly firm, then gently flip for an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper and turn onto a plate.  Divide into two portions.

Blueberry Purslane Smoothie Bowl 

Blueberry Purslane Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1 - 2.  Approximately 22 ounces, enough for two small bowls.


3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup purslane, leaves and tender top stems only
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional*)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 handfuls of ice

Process all ingredients in a blender for a minute or two, until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and garnish with chia seeds and blueberries, or, if you prefer, pour it into a glass for drinking.

*I love the health benefits of cinnamon (and the taste) but my family preferred this smoothie without it.

Tag your Instagram photos with #mondaymarketmeals to show your seasonal cooking with produce from your garden or local farmer's market.

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