Archive for the 'Verdolagas (Purslane)' Category

Turnip, potato, verdolagas street taco

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Joyce Wong, Tucson CSA

1/4 to 1/2 of a share of purple top turnips (or whatever kind we get that week)

Equal amount of potatoes

1/2 share of verdolagas

2 to 4 green onions

1/4 teaspoon or more (depend on the amount of turnips and potatoes) ground cumin

salt and pepper

1-2 tablespoon oil of your choice

1 dozen small tortillas

Hot sauce or lemon wedges optional

Clean and scrub turnips and potatoes, then dice into 1/4″ cubes. Heat skillet, and add 1 or 2 glugs of oil when skillet is hot. Coat skillet with oil, turn the heat down to medium-low, add turnips and potatoes, cumin and salt. Toss the cubes so that they are coated evenly. Cover and cook until 1 side is golden, then stir, cover and cook, and repeat until roughly all sides are golden. While the turnips and potatoes are cooking, rinse and chop the verdolagas, and rinse and finely slice the green onions. Once the turnips and potatoes are done, turn the heat off, add the chopped verdolagas and green onions, toss well, and adjust seasoning to taste. Warm your tortillas one by one on a gas stove or in a separate skillet, and you are ready to dress your little street tacos.

Verdolagas and Yogurt Dip

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

This refreshing dip very much ressembles the Greek tzatziki, except you replace the cucumbers with verdolagas.

1 tub (12-oz) Greek yogurt ot strained yogurt

1 bunch verdolagas – traditionally, only the leaves are used but if the stems are soft you can chop the whole bunch including the stems

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Chile flakes

Mix together yogurt, verdolagas, garlic, lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinke with chile flakes for garnish. Serve with bread or pita bread. You can also water it down a little and use it as a sauce wirh grilled meats or vegetables.

Rice Pilaf with Verdolagas

Monday, September 7th, 2015

1 bunch verdolagas (purslane), chopped into 1 inch pieces, stems included
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon black pepper
juice of half a lemon

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft.
Add verdolagas/purslane  and stir until slightly wilted (about 3 minutes).
Add rice, pepper, lemon juice and stock. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let sit, covered, to steam for another 5 minutes.
This is delicious with tzatziki (Greek cucumber and garlic yogurt).

Puerco con Verdolagas

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

From Paula Redinger, Tucson CSA

Pork, tomatillos, chiles and verdolagas (purslane) are a traditional combination in Mexican cuisine.  Since I’m always seeking to use what is already in my kitchen, here’s my experimental variation.  As usual, I don’t have exact amounts for some things – let your preferences guide you! This dish came out good enough that it seemed worth writing down.

1 – 1 ½ lbs pork – country style ribs, each cut into 2 or 3 pieces,  or shoulder roast (Boston Butt), cut into large (2”) cubes
Cooking fat of your choice
½ onion, chopped or sliced
Garlic – 2-6 cloves, minced or pureed
Ground cumin
Mexican oregano
2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped (I used red ones, but it might be interesting to use green ones, or a combination of the two)
Chiles – fresh or roasted, chopped (I omitted these since I had some leftover chile sauce that needed a home.  If I hadn’t, I’d definitely add some heat by adding some of the chopped chiles I freeze when they are plentiful CSA item.)
Any stray bits of chile sauce, tomato sauce, broth, tomato paste hanging out in your fridge
Water or broth
Salt, Pepper
1 bunch purslane, tender stems and leaves chopped.  Reserve the thicker stems for pickled purlane stems, if you like.

Brown pork on high heat in cooking fat.  Work in batches if needed.  Remove pork, turn down heat, sauté onions until soft.  Add the cumin, garlic, oregano and stir around a few times.  Put the pork back into the pot, add the tomatoes, chiles, any stray bits from your fridge that need a home (I had about ¼ cup each of tomato sauce and red chile sauce), and enough water or broth to barely cover the meat.  Bring to the simmer and cook on very low heat – either at the barest simmer on the stove, or in a low oven, if your pot is heatproof, or transfer to a crock pot.

While the meat is cooking, blanch the purslane in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  (Every traditional recipe I’ve seen includes this step, although I’m tempted to say you could just toss the chopped purslane directly into the pork pot for the last minutes of cooking.)

When the meat is tender and done to your liking, (this may take 1-3 hours, depending on the cut of meat, your taste, and your method of cooking), add the purslane and cook a few more minutes.  Spoon off excess fat if desired and correct seasoning.

Serve with tortillas, the grain of your choice, or (if you’re feeling cross-cultural), polenta. A green salad, and/or some cucumber spears, radish slices or salad turnip pieces are a nice cooling and refreshing accompaniment.

June Medley

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

Another easily adaptable recipe for our summer produce.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels scraped off
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 summer squash, diced
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
Seasoning: salt, pepper and thyme to taste

Optional ingredients:

1 bunch summer greens, such as amaranth or purslane, cut
1 handful basil, oregano, cilantro or parsley, chopped
1/3 log (or more) goat cheese of any flavor
Squash blossoms

In a skillet on medium hot, sauté the onion in oil until soft. Add the corn kernels and sauté for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add the squash, tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Stir, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add any optional ingredients, stir gently, and simmer for another 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve with toasted tortillas or on a bed of rice or noodles.

Verdolagas Ratatouille

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 eggplant, diced
2 cups verdolagas, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2-3 small summer squash, diced
basil, oregano and thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add onions and
garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add eggplant and
stir until coated with oil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring

Add tomatoes, verdolagas, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover
and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Elote Blanco with Verdolagas, Lime Juice and Chiles

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
1 (or more) tablespoon butter
1 chile (Serrano or Anaheim), seeded and chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped verdolagas
1/4 cup chipotle goat cheese, or crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Hot chile powder to taste (no need for it is you use chipotle goat

Combine corn, butter, chiles and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan.
Simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes.

Stir in cheese, chile powder, lime juice, verdolagas, and salt to

August Medley

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

This recipe uses a lot of produce commonly available at the CSA
in August. It is very flexible and many items can be easily

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 ear of corn, kernels scraped off with sharp knife
1 teaspoon chile powder or paprika
1 teaspoon herbs (oregano or thyme)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 fresh green chiles, chopped
1 handful okra, whole (optional)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
1 summer squash, diced
1 handful purslane, chopped in 1-in segments
salt to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion and corn in hot oil until onion
becomes translucent. Add chile powder, herbs, garlic, chiles,
okra and jalapeno. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add squash and saute for another 5 minutes. Add purslane,
saute for 5 last minutes. Serve with an omelet, on a tortilla, or
with some rice.

Verdolagas Salad

Monday, July 21st, 2008

1 bunch verdolagas
Tomatoes, approx. 1 cup chopped
Cucumber, approx. 1 cup chopped
1 onion, chopped
Juice of a lemon, or 1-2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Rinse the verdolagas well in several changes of water. Remove woody stems if any.
Chop or tear the verdolagas in bite-size pieces.
Toss all the ingredients together in a salad bowl and serve.

More About Verdolagas (Purslane)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Although purslane is rarely seen on our own tables today, this pretty herb has a long and interesting history. English medieval cooks and gardeners loved purslane. The ancient Greeks made a bread flour from purslane seeds and pickled its fleshy stems; Greek country cooks now serve purslane as a salad herb, either alone or with other khorta (wild greens). On Mexican tables, the hot, peppery bite of cooked purslane is enjoyed with eggs and pork, while Chinese cooks value its sharp flavor and slightly slippery quality with noodles.

Closer to home, the FDA lists purslane as a pervasive weed (the 7th worst, worldwide) but to those of us who love its earthy, slightly acidic flavor and crisp, succulent stems and leaves, the word ‘weed’ hardly seems fair.  Purslane is simple to grow and there are several varieties available to the gardener – the two best culinary ones are both summer herbs: portulaca oleracea (green purslane) and portulaca sativa (golden purslane).

Medieval herbalists describe purslane as ‘cold,’ meaning that  it was considered a cure for a ‘burning’ (or malfunctioning) heart and liver. Greeks call it a ‘bloodcleansing’ herb. In Mexico, purslane is considered good for diabetics. Recent research has confirmed that purslane is one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as carotenes and vitamin C.

Clusters of its young, fresh leaves are a perfect foil to ‘sweet’ vegetables such as new potatoes, beets, fava beans and garbanzo beans, and juicy vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes. Or, simply sprinkle the leaves generously with coarse sea salt, lemon juice and olive oil and serve with fish, grills, or omelets. My neighbor on Crete used to add handfuls of purslane sprigs to the juices in the roasting pan, once he had removed the roast for carving. After a few minutes of swishing, the greens would wilt and the sauce would acquire a sharper flavor and pleasantly gelatinous character.

Rosemary Barron, author of Flavors of Greece, Grub

Street, London, 2000