I know I’ve been talking a lot lately, so how bout some food stuffs for a change. The summer brings in one of my favorite little garden delights. And I don’t even have to plant it. She just shows up every year, knowing she is welcome. And without any effort on our part, she grows wildly everywhere. This little lovebug is called purslane or verdolagas. I first caught on to this little weed when it came in our CSA two summers ago. When we pulled it out of the bag, I did a double take and shouted to Drew. “This is the weed that is taking over our garden right now!” Because it’s hard to grow much on a patio garden in an Arizona summer, we had decided earlier that year to let the weeds grow a bit so we could do some identifying and play around with some of the wild edibles instead of just tossing them aside. We discovered epazote, mallow, and chicory as well. But nothing that was so food-like as the purslane. A quick google search turned up tons of recipe ideas and I got to work.
I had just finished a bunch of pizza dough and thought we’d first try some pierogi type dish. The fresh purslane was chopped and tossed with some red pepper, scallions, shredded carrots, prosciutto, and a handful of sheep feta. I added a little salt and pepper and mixed it all in a bowl. Which was actually quite tasty itself. I could have just sprinkled some herbed vinegar over the thing and enjoyed it. But…I was wanting the warm and cozy of the bread.
So I rolled it up in a cute little pocket and baked at 400 for about 15-20 min. It was worth it. Do you know the reason they have the crumpled edge? It’s not just a pretty detail. It is actually quite useful. Pierogi’s and pasties were the take out lunch food of miners. They held the treat by the edge with their dirty grimey miners hands, ate the middles and tossed that crumpled edge in the garbage. No dishes, no fuss, no poison. Genius.
Now go hunting for some purslane! Or buy it at your farmers market. More recipes to come. You’ll wanna try it before it’s all gone.
And there’s still time to enter the giveaway for Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Vibrant Health.