PURSLANE

PURSLANE Yes, it’s a “self-sower,” in the PNW (aka weed), but it’s also a foodie darling, a wild-harvested addition to salads and fancy crostini.  It tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.

How to Store: To store purslane, right after picking, pop it in a plastic bag and put it straight in to the refrigerator or a cooler bag. It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a week or more. Don’t wash it until just before you are ready to eat.

How to Prepare: Purslane is somewhat crunchy and has a slight lemony taste. Some people liken it to watercress or spinach, and it can substitute for spinach in many recipes. Young, raw leaves and stems are tender and are good in salads and sandwiches. They can also be lightly steamed or stir-fried. Purslane’s high level of pectin (known to lower cholesterol) thickens soups and stews.

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