Monday, September 8, 2008

Purslane Salad with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

Every summer, one of my garden beds is taken over by this weed. I pull it up but it keeps coming back. It grows at an alarming rate.

It looks like this up close.

Here, it is fighting for acreage with our strawberry plants, which also grow at an alarming rate. The lavender just tries to mind its own business.

So imagine my shock when I saw a recipe using this, this, WEED on the Almost Turkish Recipes blog. This WEED has a name: purslane. Or pigweed. Or verdolaga, if you please. And, not only is it an edible cousin to spinach, it's very nutritious--high in Omega 3 fatty acids. It's the salmon of the vegetable world! Except that salmon is expensive and this stuff is free and in my backyard. The author of Almost Turkish recipes, as well as other food blogs I've read, seem to have a difficult time finding this and when they do, it's priced rather dearly. My fellow food bloggers, you are more than welcome to come and raid my backyard! Please, I beg you. I'm drowning in purslane.

Thanks to the dismally cold and wet Seattle summer, none of my vegetables save the snap peas flourished. I am determined to harvest something, dammit! Tonight, it was the WEED. I made a Purslane Salad with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce. Here's the bunches of WEED that I yanked out, washed off, and cut up.

I sauteed a minced onion with garlic, added lemon juice & water, somesalt, some rice, and let that simmer. At the last minute, I chopped up some tomatoes and tossed them in for color. I mixed minced garlic into some plain yogurt and black pepper as a sauce to dollop on the salad. We had the WEED rice salad with tofu dogs and homemade raspberry iced tea, because that's how we roll in this house--random combinations of food that we dare to call dinner!

The verdict? Barrett was a bit hesitant on it. He liked it alright, but acknowledged its "different" flavor and said he simply wasn't used to it. I can see where he's coming from. It's bright and almost lemony, very hearty, but with a decided earth-y overtone. You can taste that this grew in soil, more than most other greens I've eaten. I understand people not taking to it. I like it. I want to try other recipes with it, like the purslane salsa recipe I spotted somewhere.

And thus ends the story of the WEED.

Postscript: we recently acquired a very very very fuzzy couch pillow that Colin absolutely adores. He adores it so much, he drools on it while kneading it. His new nickname when he is kneading on this pillow? McLovin'.


jeci said...

I just finished reading our mutual boyfriend Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food and I'm pretty sure at some point he strongly encouraged people to eat wild leafy greens such as purslane! They're high in nutrients. And it looks like they're easy to grow, seeing as how they're a weed. Heh!

jeci said...

PS Colin's expression in that picture is priceless. And...well. My mom and dad have a sheepskin that their cat was very attached to. Mom thought it was cute. Then we found him having sexy times with it. you can prepare yourself. Maybe you need to sit Colin down and have a talk about the birds and the bees. He might be of that age now.

Shannon said...

His expression does suggest that he's been "caught in the act," doesn't it? He does love this pillow lots, so I'll be sure to keep an eye out for any inappropriate behavior!

Heather said...

It's a "mommy" pillow! Awwww...he's so cute!

anne said...

Shan -

I have been wanting to try purslane out for a long time - it grows like mad around here too. It is virtually indestructible - it grows very lushly in the herbicide strip under the trees at work. Heh. Anyhow, I have a recipe at home for potato salad with purslane - maybe that would dilute the earthy flavor a bit? I'll try to remember to bring it in on Monday.

And ha, Jeci! "Sexy times"! You made me snort - that's hilarious. Yes, Shan, he is a cutie, even if he is getting sexy with the pillow.

Kari said...

Shan, maybe the flavor would be a little lighter with new growth? Your stems were reddish in color, maybe more mature then is usually eaten? Just a thought! And I like the "DAMN! Caught red-pawed!" deer in the headlights look! lol