Foraging: purselane

I’m not sure if it’s the pandemic bringing out some sort of survival instinct or if it’s just a natural progression of a person with a black thumb who loves picking and eating stuff, but lately I have really taken to foraging. I’ve mostly been looking for dandelions but I stumbled across a huge patch of purselane and I remember finding out about it several years ago. 

Have you ever heard of purselane?  It is usually regarded as a weed but it’s actually an edible herb that is full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and omega-3. You can find it everywhere, except where people are very very particularly manicuring their lawns. 

It likes all the in between places and it seems to be popping up along the pavement, next to the house, and especially sunny places. 

Since I’ve started increasing the foraging, I’ve been grabbing it by the handful from my yard and the wild places I’ve gone. I started using it in egg scrambles but it’s a bit stalky and the texture isn’t my favorite. (I’ve seen some recipes boiled, and maybe that makes it more tender?). 

The foraging started with dandelions for the whole plant: roots and stems roasted for tea, leaves for a sautée, and I’m saving the flowers for an infused beverage. So I decided all those purselane roots probably had potential and I tried roasting them. It turns out it has a similar flavor to dandelion root (surprise!) with its own unique flavor profile. 

I tried it on its own, with sweetener and milk, and tonite I brewed it with mint leaves, and it definitely plays well with others.  I also put all my purselane into the dehydrator and removed as much of the stems as I could, leaving a seasoning I could use in cooking for the flavor (a bit bitter and earthy) and get the nutrients.  I’m excited to try it, and I was able to re-route the stems for roasting and add them to my tea. In this way, I was using the plant from roots to tip. 

If you are up for an adventure, run out to your back yard and see what you can find!  

I always love to send you to more information- I spend a lot of time researching when something new catches my fancy. Here’s a few quick overviews of purselane, and I saw lots of recipes out there too. See what you can learn!


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