Tastes Like Peapods


common purslane

     common purslane

Why are there weedy looking plants growing in my vegetable garden? To me they are not weeds but edible volunteer greens. The botanical name for this family of plants is Portulacaceae, but I call it by its common name of Purslane. My sister and I tried to place the taste of Purslane and finally decided it tastes most like very young peapods.

When I was establishing my yard, I spent hours hand weeding unwanteds such as clover, dandelion and Purslane.  Buddy, the Cocker Spaniel member of the family, dove nose first into the piles of ‘weeds’ and grazed mostly on the Purslane. Smart dog. I should have listened. It took me a number of years to pay attention to his culinary advice.

Buddy and Sue in their 'salad days'

Buddy and Sue in their ‘salad days’

If you are trying to add more omega-3 to your diet, Purslane is the go-to leafy green. It also packs vitamins A, C, E and B and great minerals. I have only used it fresh in salads and in vegetable stir-fries but it can also be used like okra in soups or cooked like spinach.