Pussly, pusley, hogweed, duckweed ....Whatever you call it, Purslane is a weed that goes by many guises, and it's having a restaurant renaissance.
Matt Preston recently predicted it as a foodie trend for 2016 so we decided refresh on the reasons why Purslane deserves a place on our plate as well as some purslane recipes.
1) No Green Fingers Required
Being a weed, growing Purslane shouldn't present any problems, even for the laziest of gardeners. Growing it at home is simple and involves doing very little except for harvesting it regularly during the growing season.
Purslane usually pops up during the heat of summer in a number of places from flowerbeds and fields to the cracks in a sidewalk or in concrete grounding. You might well have come across it without even realising.
2) It's Been Around a Long Time
Purslane is an ancient plant believed to have originated in Persia.
According to The Guardian, Purslane was even recommended for a good salad in the first record of a healthfood cookbook, 'Discourse of Sallets' by John Evelyn in 1699.
3) It's Nutritious
It's a miracle plant," said Dr. Artemis Simopoulos speaking to the Chicago Tribune, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, who discovered while working at the National Institutes of Health that the plant had the highest level of Omega-3 fatty acids of any other green plant. Not only that, it is also a good source of iron and vitamin C.
4) It Tastes Good
Purslane is prized for its crisp and succulent texture making it a nice treat from thin and papery or peppery versions of salad leaves. It's mild and sweet flavour with lemony acidity also make it versatile ingredient that lends itself to any number of dishes.
5) Purslane Recipes
Purslane has diverse uses in the kitchen and can be served both fresh and raw or cooked.
Professional Forager Tama Matsuoka Wong writing in Serious Eats has a number of ideas for Purslane recipes.
"Stuff some raw purslane tips in to southeast Asian lettuce wraps, or skip the lettuce altogether and showcase purslane in a Provencal-style salad with olives and feta cheese, or on top of your chicken sandwich or burger. Purslane is also delicious paired with cucumber and mint."
Geranium's Rasmus Kofoed has decided to stop serving meat at the restaurant currently ranked number two on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But the Danish chef isn't yet willing to go purely plant-based.