If you see this in your yard, do not break it under any circumstances. It saves lives!

 

Verdolaga, or purslane, was once an invasive plant in gardens but is now a prized commodity. Thanks to its unique combination of health benefits and delicious flavor, this remarkable plant is making a triumphant comeback to upscale eateries and farmer’s markets.

After being known by other names like hogweed and pigweed, Purslane is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a beneficial weed. Its popularity is on the upswing again, and it is revered as a superfood; even famous people like Mahatma Gandhi hold it in high regard.

This hardy plant has been praised as a „miracle plant” by Dr. Artemis Simopoulos of the Centre for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health, and it has been known to squeeze itself into gardens and cracks in pavement. While working at the NIH, Dr. Simopoulos found that, of all the leafy greens, Purslane has the greatest concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Its teardrop-shaped succulent leaves are a nutritional powerhouse, delivering a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The benefits, however, do not end there; the leaves also lend a slightly spicy, lemony flavor. Sergio Vitale, chef and owner of Chicago’s Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano, remembers his childhood in southern Italy fondly and provides this account.

The popularity of raw and pickled Purslane declined in the early 1900s, despite the fact that early Americans, including Martha Washington, loved it. Thankfully, creative chefs, foragers, and farmers have reignited interest in this useful herb in the last few years.

Thorough washing is necessary to remove any remaining pesticide residues when working with wild Purslane. The mildly salty and tart flavor of purslane makes it a great complement to a wide range of foods.

Purslane and basil pesto is an easy dish that you may try.

Things needed:

  • 2 cups of young, roughly cut, and rinsed Purslane stems and leaves
  • 45 grams of washed basil leaves
  • One garlic clove
  • 40 grams of toasted almonds
  • Half of a lemon’s juice
  • a half-milliliter bottle of olive oil
  • According to personal preference, season with salt and pepper.

Instructions:

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