Washed purslane

One of the things I love most about a CSA is the obscure produce. Of course, there’s obligatory Kohlrabi in New England. I mean, it grows so well. Of course, the best you can hope for with kohlrabi is not to taste it, which does not inspire desire. But then there are the other non-commercial produce items, like garlic scapes and purslane.

Garlic scape time of year is over, sadly. I usually keep a bouquet of hydra-like tops for a few weeks, but even those have past. But this last week a flux of culinary ambition took me over at the same time my green box included a bunch of purslane.

“So Brenda” you ask. “What the heck is purslane?”

It’s an edible weed. I see it all the time in the cracks of sidewalks, in neglected window boxes, creeping along unwalked paths and next to un-week-wacked walls. You’ve seen it a thousand times and never noticed it, since you saw it and thought “weed”. But it’s actually a super nutritious, rather tasty green. And despite being tasty, bountiful and nutritious, it is rarely if ever commercially available.

Isn’t it funny, how rich but stilted we are? We pass by an awesome nutritional opportunity because it’s not sold to us, and buy expensive greens from California instead.

I digress.

Last time I made something from purslane, several years ago, it was a super-vegan-froo-froo soup recipe that was distinctly eh. This time, some googling showed a great Turkish recipe that looked super tasty. Having made it, I can affirm that it is, in fact, super tasty. (Although it would be even better with bacon. But everything is even better with bacon. One of my friends had dinner at my house this week and said, “I like it, but I’ve noticed every meal you’ve ever served me has had bacon in it.” This is true.)

So here is my version of the recipe, with some modifications. I was able to use farm share onions and tomatoes, in addition to the farmshare purslane. I served this dish warm – I think it would be pretty good cold, too.

Purslane with Tomato (Domatesli Semizotu)

1 bunch or 1 lb purslane (verdolaga in Spanish), washed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
2 tomatoes, grated or petite diced (or 1 can petite diced tomato)
1/4 cup precooked rice
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup hot water

-Heat olive oil on medium heat and saute onions.
-Add purslane, tomato, rice, salt, sugar, pepper. Stir for a couple of minutes.
-Pour in water.
-Cook on low covered for 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked.
-Serve warm or cold

I’m feeling both dismayed and accomplished by my farm share production this week. So far I’ve made:

*Blueberry pie – with lard crust. DELICIOUS.
*Peach cobbler. OM NOM. Also, peeling peaches for baking is one of my least favorite things, and eating baked peaches is one of my most favorite things.
*Purslane salad (purslane, onions and tomatoes)
*Spaghetti & kale (onions and kale)

I have saved for winter:
* Grated zucchini
* Green beans
* Blueberry pie filling (I had a lot of blueberries)

I also sent a cantaloupe to daycare for snack because I do not like cantaloupe.

The dismaying thing is how much remains in my crisper drawers, uneaten and unplanned. Wish me luck!