Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Sondra Garabet
Posted on: March 30, 2004

I’m getting ready to order a seed packet of purslane. I have just found this herb that my Armenian mother used in salads and soups when I was a child. What can you tell me about it? I appreciate your feedback.

Purslane is an annual that blooms small yellow flowers from June to September in the northern hemisphere. It has small fleshy green leaves shaped like the balloon part of a hot air balloon. Probably more commonly recognized as a weed than as something to eat. In the nineteenth century it was highly popular in French cuisine, prepared like spinach or served au gratin. The flavour is peppery, slightly hazelnutty and with a bit tangy. I found a recipe in a book for a salad of purslane leaves with sliced fresh peaches and toasted hazelnuts.

Growing Information: Will grow to about 15 inches (40 cm). Plant seeds in a sunny place, in light, humus-rich soil, 6-inches (15 cm) apart, or plant in container. Do not cover seeds with soil, just moisten with water. Water when soil gets dry. Grows quickly. One reference I read said that it does not do well near onions.

Culinary Uses: fresh in green salads, in dips, in soups and stews. Leaves can be frozen.


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