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jhlurie

TDG: A Weed by Any Other Name

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Walking home that afternoon, I felt like I'd gotten a new pair of glasses: I could see every leaf, and each had the characteristic paddle shape of purslane. It was thick in overgrown yards, poking out of window boxes, and even, I noticed as I reached my block, pushing up between the cracks in the sidewalk right in front of my house.

I washed it very well, and invited Peter over for a salad.

Read more about Zora's discovery in her Daily Gullet article.

* * *

Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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OK, I was having the preprandial martini and looked to my left. Aha! Purslane growing in my monarda didima! I reached over, plucked a microscopic nibble, and ate it.

I didn't get sweet and lemony, I got hot and peppery, like watercress to the max. I looked again and noticed that although the leaves were succulent, and looked just like the lovely art that accompanies this piece, the stems were green, not red.

So...did I pluck purslane, or did I eat some heart-racing psychedelic -vision inducing noxious weed? (Tongue's still burning, but any visions so far are probably gin-induced.)


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Did it look like this.

I have some in my fridge that is very mild flavored. The flavor somewhat depends on where and how it grows, much the same as many herbs.

Here is another photo which shows common pigweed, (another name for purslane),

pigweed


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Pigweed is to amaranth as portulaca is to purslane.

The two are not the same.

Pigweed when young is edible however (called lambs quarters)

The two cultivated strains of Purslane have more of that lemony-chewy character..the yellow leaf one especially....the chefs up this way use it a lot as

a fish garnish.

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Pigweed is to amaranth as portulaca is to purslane.

The two are not the same.

Pigweed when young is edible however (called lambs quarters)

The two cultivated strains of Purslane have more of that lemony-chewy character..the yellow leaf one especially....the chefs up this way use it a lot as

a fish garnish.

Sorry, I meant to type hogweed, because it is also called that in certain areas of the south.

It has many other local names. In western Kentucky where I grew up I knew it as hogweed

or little hogweed as it is noted on this site:

purslane/little hogweed

Here in So.Calif. it is always labeled in stores (Mexican) as verdolaga, occasionally with purslane in brackets.

Here is another site which notes the health benefits:

pursland

If you look through herbal texts, you will find about 40 different names for purslane depending on when and where the books were written.

(I have an extensive collection of herbal books)


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have no idea what you ate, Maggie, but if it's any comfort (and I hope your tongue has recovered), "Wildman" Steve Brill does praise purslane as a very safe thing to forage because nothing poisonous resembles it. (But do let me know if you had any, ah, visions!)

As for the whole pigweed red herring, I was just reading a book on Aboriginal food, and that referred to purslane (clearly--there were pics) as pigweed. So there might be the added problem of different names in different countries.

I haven't seen lamb's quarters/pigweed/quelites growing wild, but maybe I just haven't been looking the same way as I have for purslane!


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Lamb's quarters grows wild like crazy in Chicago (along with purslane...and the purslane in our old back yard never tasted all that peppery). I'd carefully be tending a patch in the back yard when our well meaning landlord would pull it all up. One of my favorite taco fillings is lamb's quarters with browned onions, a sprinkle of aged cheese and roasted tomatillo and chipotle salsa. My favorite variety of lamb's quarters ever is one with magenta colored "dust" on the undersides of the leaves. I still have seeds for that somewhere....

Sadly, I have not spotted purslane or lamb's quarters here in Portland, and they don't sell them at the farmer's market either.

Great article.

regards,

trillium

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Hogweed might just be it.......but pigweed......don't talk pigweed to me right now....part of this latest in a string of 16 hr days was hoeing 600 feet of purslane

to remove the pigweed from the rows......

It is one nasty adversary.... :blink:

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That sounds like some task from mythology: "Go forth and separate the pigweed from the hogweed, young-man-full-of-promise..." I don't envy you.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments!


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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I grew up eating purslane which we called glisteria in my house. It was one of the many things that my parents brought seeds for from our native Cyprus, and one of the many things whose name I didn't learn in english until i was an adult, just because i knew no one who ate it here.

I remember clearly about four, five years ago when suddenly purslane came into the media and many people were touting its incredible health benefits. My huge Greek family went crazy. First of all they were like, "oh, it has a name in english?" and second of all they were so proud and smug at the same time, my parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins all loving to point out endless (at endless family gatherings and endless phone calls) times how we Cypriots had been eating this for time immemorial and we must be so much healthier (filled to the brim with omega 3 fatty acids you know) than all the Americans who didn't even know that they had this excellent plant growing in all their back yards. This of course led to the discussion that all the americans have loquat trees in their yards and don't know that the fruit is edible (we live in california). So like Zora mentioned the greek lady gathering purslane from people's yards, the greeks around here always do it with the loquats...but I digress.

Purslane is a very delicious, lemony plant and the best way to eat it is when you have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in season, so you can make a tomato/cucumber salad. Make sure to use lemon instead of vinegar for the dressing and to cut small, rough chunks of your tomatoes straight from the fruit into the bowl so that all their juice runs into the salad bowl because that is truly an integral part of the salad dressing. It makes the perfect meal on hot summer nights along with bread, olives, a hard goat cheese, and watermelon.


Edited by slyaspie (log)

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Thanks for this information as it clears up a mystery for me. I came across piles of this at the Nashville Farmer's Market and was told it was "Mexican Turnip Greens". At least now I know what it was... :smile:


Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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Purslane is a very delicious, lemony plant and the best way to eat it is when you have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in season, so you can make a tomato/cucumber salad. Make sure to use lemon instead of vinegar for the dressing and to cut small, rough chunks of your tomatoes straight from the fruit into the bowl so that all their juice runs into the salad bowl because that is truly an integral part of the salad dressing. It makes the perfect meal on hot summer nights along with bread, olives, a hard goat cheese, and watermelon.

This is almost how I make my basic bread salad, except for the watermelon - - -

I cut the tomatoes, cucumbers (I grow the lemon and the Persian) into bite-sized chunks, chop the purslane coarsly along with some onion and some finely minced oil-roasted garlic. Then I tear my home-baked Asiago cheese bread into bite-sized chunks and toss everything in a large bowl. I serve it with a selection of cheeses, fresh as well as hard so people can add their own and a selection of olives. I also set out a selection of fresh herbs, lemon and lime quarters, two or three varieties of salts, olive oils and two or three pepper grinders with different types of pepper. I have a large collection of good-sized pasta bowls which are perfect for a rough salad of this type. Room enough in the bowls for people to mix their own selections without losing bits of it all over the place.

I can add thinly sliced or shredded cold meats to round things out. (many men seem to think a meal is not complete without some kind of meat.)

I do not make a particular dressing per se, I let my guests compose their own.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Excellent!!!

I've been trying to kill these buggers all summer long. Now only problem is did or did I not spray weed killer on them a few weeks ago.... :hmmm:

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