The 19th century Englishman William Cobbett was wrong when he said purslane was “only suitable for pigs and the French.“ A gourmet weed with small thick leaves, it is packed with goodness for everyone. In fact, it is one of the most nutritious foods you should be eating, as it contains calcium, vitamins E and C, magnesium, linoleic acid, and more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant. It also has 10 to 20 times more melatonin (which helps inhibit cancer growth) than any other fruit or vegetable tested by University of Texas researchers.
Tart and smooth, it is comparable to watercress or spinach, but with more succulence and citrus flavor. It is best eaten raw in salads and pesto or steamed and pureed.
Furthermore, it can grow almost anywhere that has at least a two-month growing season, especially thriving on midsummer heat.
Pliny the Elder advised wearing purslane as an amulet to ward off evil. It is also popular in Chinese medicine, and an effective remedy for insect and snake bites, among other ailments.
Keep your eyes open for it!
by Jasmina Knezovic