Purslane: A Healthy Fresh Summer Green
At Gardenista, we recently asked New York photographer and nutritionist Rebecca Baust of The Daily Muse to hit the greenmarkets in search of one of our favorite edible greens: purslane. In a genius move, she paired the bright, slightly sour-flavored green with sweet watermelon and baby greens and tossed the whole thing with a simple red wine vinaigrette. See below for the ingredients and recipe:
Above: As is often the rule, fresh, young purslane plants are often best as salad ingredients. At Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan, shoppers can pick and choose from farmers’ salad mixes to create their own combination of lettuces and baby greens.
Commonly considered a weed (and found growing between cracks in the pavement as often as in farmers’ fields), purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is an unassuming green that packs a powerful nutritional punch. In studies conducted by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, purslane was shown to have more omega-3 fatty acids than spinach. It’s also rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, and phosphorous. Similar to other plants recently featured on Gardenista, purslane thrives in low-moisture soil.
If you’re hoping to grow your own purslane, a packet of Purslane Seeds in available from Johnny’s Selected Seeds for $3.45.
Back home, Rebecca prepped the purslane plants, which happily mostly just means washing. The succulent’s stems and leaves are both edible.
For the dressing, Rebecca mixed extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar in a 3-to-1 ratio. She seasoned the mixture with sea salt and pepper. Tossed together, the sweet and sour mixture creates a salad that can stand up to this summer’s first New York heatwave.