Thursday, October 22, 2009


I was so happy today when I found this little weed in the organic spinach that I picked up from the farmers market this weekend. If you are unfamiliar with purslane it is a garden weed that is apparently very common, although not in my yard for some reason. I found these three tiny sprigs in my spinach and immediately put them in a little espresso mug with some water on my kitchen windowsill. Hopefully it will survive the winter in my house in a pot so that I can plant one of my large containers with it in the spring.

This is a note for my friend Sue. I know you are thinking I am crazy but this stuff is $5 for a half pound and I buy pounds of it each week when it is available. I assume since it is a weed maybe it will survive my black thumb of death. If not please save me a few sprigs next year when you are weeding your garden in the spring. Thanks!

Early in the summer I buy bags of purslane from one of the farmers that specializes in unusual greens. Purslane contains omega 3 fatty acids, which is why I buy it. I understand that purslane I commonly consumed in Europe. I like to use it in salads. It is particularly good in salsa fresca. The leaves are fleshy, but in an interesting way. It tastes very mild like romaine.

If you find something with a fleshy pinkish stem and a fleshy dark green leaf don’t throw it away. You may have found a plant source of omega 3 fatty acids. I will post an update in a week or so and let you know how easy it is to grow.


  1. Do keep us posted, that sounds like fun. I don't think I've ever had purslane, but it sounds really good and sort of old-fashioned. I think that perilla leaves also have a good amount of omega-3; I'll have to double check.

  2. Rose,

    I thought you would be the only one who knew what purslane was.

    Perilla leaves? That is something I haven't heard about. I need to look that up now.


  3. Perilla is also called shiso; I have some purple shisho in my garden, but haven't been very good about using it a lot. We went to dinner at a Korean friend's house over the summer and she made some vegan savory pancake things with perilla leaves inside. It was pretty good.

  4. Rose,

    Shiso I recognize. I didn't know it was the same thing. I haven't cooked it before though. I will look for recipes with shiso and see what I can come up with. Maybe I can find something that will make you want to use your shiso. I will let you know what I find.



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