Farms

Otsuji Farm
21.282581
-157.694484
459 Pakala StreetHonoluluOahu(808) 368-1135 Website

Markets

Ala Moana Farmers' Market
21.2912881
-157.84296470000004
1450 Ala Moana BoulevardHonoluluOahu(808) 388-9696Website
Honolulu Farmers' Market
21.299434
-157.85037799999998
Neil Blaisdell Center777 Ward AvenueHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Kailua Farmers' Market
21.3930281
-157.7496761
609 Kailua Road(Parking lot near Long's and Pier 1)KailuaOahu(808) 848-2074Website
KCC Saturday Farmers Market
21.2709554
-157.79941889999998
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website

Purslane

 

So many plants we overlook today as weeds have been considered a food or even a medicine at one time or another.

Purslane is one of them.  It’s beautiful green, succulent leaves have a complexity of taste (citrus notes) and texture (fleshy) that many find satisfying.

It’s eaten fresh in salads, stir-fried, or added to soups and stews for its mucilaginous thickening quality. Over 40 varieties are being cultivated and many more exist unnamed growing wild.  Thought to have originated in India, purslane can be found growing and being grown all over – and of course can be found in numerous recipes from cuisines in Asia, Mediterranean, Americas and Europe.

Leaves, stems and flower buds are not only edible, but also contains more omega-3 fatty acids that any other leafy vegetable plant around (or some fish oils!). Not only that, but it also contains vitamins A, C and some Bs; magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium too.  Yes, who knew that a little plant called a.k.a. pigweed could be such a nutritional powerhouse!

Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews.

One note on purslane is that it contains oxalic acid like some vegetables.  People with history of kidney or urinary tract stone may want to avoid purslane and other veggies that belong to the amaranthaceae and Brassica family.

 

Prepping and Cooking Tips

– Always wash your purslane well before eating.  Dry off too if using in salads.

– Discard thick stems or cut into small pieces.

– Purslane, especially when young and tender, is a nice tangy addition to salads.

– Purslane like spinach cooks down a lot, so be aware of this when judging how much to buy/pick and portions.

– It can stir-fried, added to stews and curries, even tempura’d.

– In Greece, where it is known as glistrida, purslane is simply fried in olive oil with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic and oregano to make a basic dish called andrakla.

– In Southern Portugal, purslane is known as baldroegas and used as a soup thickener.

– In Russia, where it is known as portulak, purslane is chopped and added to potato salads to add a tang and nutritional punch.

– Purslane is even often pickled.  There are western style pickling recipes we came across, and even a mention of it being pickled possibly tsukemono style in Japan where we hear it is known as suberi-hiyu.

Selecting and Storing Tips

Look for purslane that is perky and free of yellowing leaves.  Longer thicker stems would be more for cooking as texture and flavor gets stronger in more mature plants.

Purslane does not keep very well once picked. Store loosely in plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.

 

Morsel of History

According to Susan Hitchcock’s book on foraging herbs, “Gather Ye Wild Things: A Forager’s Year” – during the 1940’s Mahatma Gandhi named purslane as one of the thirty vegetables for for the citizens of India to cultivate as a step towards self reliance for their nation and a solution to wide spreading hunger.

Contemporary survivalist also see the same glow around purslane – it is actually being included in foraging chapters in such guidebooks.

 

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