|One person's weed is another person's salad ingredient|
(A bowl of freshly picked Verdolagas/Purslane)
This time of year you'll likely see what looks to be a small succulent spreading out as far as it can reach. You'll even see it growing from cracks in the sidewalk - and it's name is Purslane (English) - or Verdolagas (Spanish).
|New Verdolagas growth May 28, 2021|
For years I pulled and discarded this hardy intruder - until I was introduced to the many culinary uses by local gardener Nickie Irvine. Having already moved dandelions over to the food/ingredient category, I was surprised to learn of so many culinary uses of this sidewalk dweller.
When freshly picked or coming out of the refrigerator, Verdolagas has a pleasant crunch. I like it best raw and added on top of salads - but there are many recipes, particularly in Latin American, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, that use Verdolagas as an ingredient. A short list of recipes can be found here.
If you have any interest in local plant foraging, check out Philip B. Stark on Instagram (@philipbstark). He's a professor of statistics at UC Berkeley and Principle Investigator for Berkeley Open Source Food (forage.berkeley.edu) and frequently posts about edible weeds and #urbanforaging.
Do you incorporate any other "weeds" in your diet? Please share in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org.