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Purslane, Thou Art Mine Enemy...or Are You?

By Wislanscraft @Wislanscraft
Purslane, thou art Mine Enemy...or Are You?As I was running through the neighborhood this morning, I reflected on the abundance of Purslane ... well, everywhere.  It looks like the green part of the pretty Moss Rose, or Portulaca (I love to say that word!), but without the pretty flower.  It insinuates itself in every flower, vegetable, and herb bed in my yard, and, as I noticed this morning, in every sidewalk crack in southwest Omaha.
Yesterday, I spent a pleasant half-hour or so helping my daughter-in-law pull a bunch of the stuff out of her herb garden, and as we did this, I came across my old frenemy, the humble Lamb's Quarter.   I was reminded of my first summer in Omaha, in a rented house with a back yard overgrown with Lambs Quarter, and a recipe called Cheesy Chard*.   I picked bunches and bunches of the stuff, and used it in place of the chard. It was really tasty, and I remember my little boys ate it up.
So might there also be a healthy, and yummy, use for this other ubiquitous weed? I googled "purslane recipes" and got 147,000 results. Okay then. According to a blog called Culinary Musings http://www.culinarymusings.com/2008/06/purslane-not-a-weed-but-a-wonder/ , "purslane is ...a free backyard source of protein, vitamin E, vitamin C, and the best source of Omega 3 fatty acids of any leafy plant.".
I also learned that purslane has an evil twin, Spurge. The aforementioned website has pictures of both, so check it out if you're not sure. I might make some cheesy purslane, or stuff some of the new summer squash with it. Just get it out of my herb garden, dammit!
Speaking of Lamb's Quarters, I googled Lamb's Quarters recipes just for the fun of it, and there are some cool recipes on Phoenix Farms blog: http://phoenixfarms.blogspot.com. If you're at all interested in cooking with weeds, check that one out too. The Lamb's Quarters recipes are from her post dated May 4, 2010.
If you have been following this blog at all, you may be thinking I would be cooking some up for The Manly Spouse... I'm sorry to say that nothing green passes that man's lips unless, of course, it is breaded and deep fat fried. So no, this will be a solitary pleasure.  I'll be cooking some brown rice today, and pulling weeds for dinner tonight. I'll let you know how it turns out.
* Gramma Sally's version
  • a big bunch of Chard (or other leafy green, Kale, Spinach, Lamb's Quarters). You can use lots, because it wilts down to about 1/4 volume.
  • an onion
  • previously prepared rice (I like short grain brown rice, but use whatever you like)
  • some grated cheddar cheese
  • a 1/2 cup or so of previously cooked chicken (optional)

Sauté the onion till it's translucent, add the chicken and rice, then the greens. Cook it until the greens are wilted nicely in the mixture, then stir in the cheese. Yum!

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