Purslane, also known as duckweed or little hogweed, is a refreshing leafy vegetable that can be used in a variety of raw and cooked applications. Read on to learn the best ways to prepare and enjoy purslane.
History of Purslane
There are dozens of different types of purslane that grow throughout the world and evidence for their consumption is thousands of years old. Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, and the Ancient Greeks and Romans were all known to eat purslane in one form or another. Today you can find purslane in all parts of the world, although it is less commonly consumed in the United States.
What does Purslane Taste Like?
Purslane has a salty, mineral-like taste with a slight tang. Some people compare purslane to a more flavorful version of spinach. Like spinach, purslane can be eaten cooked or raw. Salads are an easy way to highlight the fresh qualities of purslane, while soups, stews, and stir fries apply just enough heat to mellow out some of the tanginess inherent in this low-growing plant.
Where can I buy Purslane?
Purslane is a succulent that thrives in poor soil. Purslane can find a home nearly anywhere, which is one of the reasons why it can grow in so many regions throughout the globe. Some farmers markets may have purslane, but the easiest way to ensure a steady supply of purslane is to grow it yourself. Some varieties of purslane are invasive (and in some parts of the United States, purslane is considered a weed), so be sure to plant your purslane in a pot to keep it from spreading.