Video Recipe: Purslane, 2014

The region of origin of purslane is no longer traceable. Nowadays it is spread all over the world in the warm temperate zones. …

In 1993, purslane was considered the eighth most abundant plant species worldwide and was also among the ten most harmful “weeds.”

Purslane colonizes nutrient-rich, loose sandy and loamy soils, which can also be dry in summer. It is found as a pioneer plant in gardens, fields, along paths and in pavement cracks.

Purslane has been used for food for several thousand years but, like many wild vegetables, has been forgotten. As a medicinal plant, purslane appears as early as an ancient Babylonian script from the eighth century B.C., which lists the plants of the medicinal herb garden of King Marduk-Apla-Iddina II, (the biblical Merodach-Baladan).

In 1588, Tabernaemontanus, in his New Herbal, recommends purslane against the “sod in the stomach” and also states that the “juice kept in the mouth makes the wobbly teeth
stand firm again.” In some old herbal books (according to Avril Rodway) it is written: a pleasant salad plant and so health-promoting that one can only regret that it is not used more often.

Young leaves taste slightly sour, salty and nutty, while older leaves become bitter. The flower buds can be used similarly to capers.

The plants contain larger amounts of vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins A, B, and E, the minerals and trace elements magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron, zinc, and alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, saponins, glutamic acid, oxalic acid, the sterol β-sitosterol, and a mucilaginous substance (mucilago).

To preserve the ingredients, especially vitamins, young twigs and plucked leaves and best freshly harvested and chopped into small pieces are used in salads and curd preparations. If the leaves are to be used cooked, it is sufficient to blanch them briefly or steam them in butter.
Quotes from: