PURSLANE, BERDOLAGAS or VERDOLAGAS
Iranians, Egyptians, Turks and Mexicans AGREE! This is THE MOST DELICIOUS VEGETABLE that exists and the best for you. It has omega oils so you vegans can get ALL your vitamins in the Vegetable kingdom most importantly, linoleic acid or omega 3's that prevent disease. (NUTRITIONAL CONTENT)
PURSLANE is THE RAREST of foods and hardest to find as few markets have it. (Exception is Mexican mercados but only in SPRINGTIME.) Problem is… the SEED IS so fine that it is DIFFICULT for farmers to grow by the acre, so they DON’T! It’s very Hard for adults with poor eyesight to HARVEST such fine seed. It’s smaller than SUGAR grains. Almost like FLOUR. One plant gives a quarter million seeds, so if you can grow some plants, let some of the seed ripen, then shake your harvest onto paper and save in glassine envelopes. You're good to go.
ONLY IN EGYPT, where PATIENT MEN BUILT THE PYRAMIDS, would anyone be able to harvest the tiny, fine, rare, PURSLANE SEED. The address of actual seed vendors can be googled up, in 1997, last one I found was in Cairo. But he wasn’t in the first hundred today when I googled. There are seed providers across USA and CANADA. IT is called by many names, so get the name for that country
But DON’T WORRY; YOU PROBABLY have it growing in your garden, right now! if it's summer where you live. PURLSANE gets yanked and tossed, sadly. It’s considered a WEED by AMERICANS. Not in Mexico. My maids used to arrive Spring or Summer mornings with bags of it. Couldn’t figure what they were thinking ‘til I tasted it in tomato, onion, garlic sauce maybe with some eggs scrambled in.
MY HAPPIEST DAY was when a neighbor told me I could take all of her garden's weeds. (I was giving her baby summer stock plants.) Got a ton of Purslane. Another time, I was mailing a letter and near the box, a few plants. I loaded a bag. SAFE AND DRY but My driver (not a real friend, just someone who liked a free hour reading for a drive to the market,) Said I couldn't bring that dirty weed in her car. I said 'take my groceries home, leave them on my porch, I'll walk home." I love PURSLANE that much.
The recipe that will make you crave to eat purslane is simple. MEXICAN STYLE PURSLANE (Berdolagas or VERDOLAGAS they call it in Mexico.)
FIND SOME in the park growing? Wash it off. Get rid of stems near the root.
PARBOIL purslane for 1 min and drain. That means You Simmer PURSLANE a minute, A minute will do..) SET ASIDE. In olive oil, sauté garlic, onion, tiny wisp of jalapeno, (An option is torn up stale corn tortillas) for thirty seconds, add a half dozen tomatoes cut into small pieces, cook for a minute more. (or tomato sauce from cans.) When you have a red sauce, drop in a few beaten eggs, cilantro and turn off the heat. Add the parboiled, drained purslane (a few cups boil down small so go for FOUR CUPS of the herb or weed. Stir or toss it around in the red sauce. Ready to eat. Stir, serve on basmati rice, with two organic, flame-heated (Gas stove only) yellow, corn tortillas per person. Mexican markets usually have terrific preservative-free tortilla brands. Unlike super markets where tortillas are laden with preservatives.
The purslane gets like noodles.
Can't find it growing wild? Then you can buy a package of this rare seed and grow this incredible vegetable Instructions for growing it yourself at The seed is available for a dollar a package and another dollar for stamp costs via a scant few, online, SEED supply businesses.
But I KNOW that you can FIND WILD growing PURSLANE. In my garden, in anybody's garden in the beds outside churches, supermarkets. The SUPER MARKET parking lot has mini gardens between each ROW of parking spaces. Plants are small as they are ill tended. I also use a few of my stems for ‘cuttings.’ I chop off inch or two long tops and root them easily in a flat in potting soil, in semi shade.
If you walk your area, you'll find that on curbs, in cracks in the cement, purslane flourishes. My children were used to seeing me harvesting large plants as the roots were under the cement, all cool… and say MOM, how POOR ARE we that you think we can eat that? Dogs PEE there! “
But I’d serve up this mound of tomato sauced greens that look like vegetable spaghetti, with hot corn tortillas (no preservaties,) and even they learned to love it. They just won’t pick it off curbs.
Now, if you search around in your hills and gardens and YOUR yard is somehow GROWING Purslane? LUCKY YOU. When you find a few 'weeding' up your jardin, pick off the last six inches several times during summer but let it flower again in places and collect the seed in late summer using a newspaper, shaking the branches onto it. The seed is fine as sugar. But most of summer, you'll just go out there and pick the top six inches of branches off leaving stems and roots, and some short branches for next week.
I once did a little flower planting in a neighbor's yard, my summer stock, my fave flower. I saw she had bundles of purslane. Many big plants. She had good soil. She asked me to throw them in the trash. She was ignorant but I was polite and said nothing and just did my friend a big favor, weeding her whole yard, pulling out all the purslane, by the roots, bagging it up, taking it home, half to PLANT immediately, half to fridge. Wash/ drain, bag it up; It keeps well in the fridge. RECIPES BELOW.
Last, be sure to seed the plants by shaking over paper before you cook it up. I cut up envelopes from the mail, keep seeds on a special seed desk in boxes, to give away. See ANITA’S SEED LIST, ALL FREE
MEXICAN RECIPES FOR PURSLANE or BERDOLAGAS or VERDOLAGAS (they prounounce B and V the SAME)
PURSLANE WITH CHEESE
VERDOLAGAS EN SALSA VERDE
COLD Verdolaga SALAD RECIPE:
Throw salad dressing on them, use chopped onion.
HOT PURSLANE IN TOMATO SAUCE TURKISH STYLE
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