A Freebie in Your Midst

The lovely community garden across from the Takoma Park Co-op has been weeded!  All the purslane suffered the snatches of local greenskeepers (hired by the city), ending up in the city composting facility instead of on their tables.  

Fortunately, the weeding is usually a bit haphazard, and enough remnants remain to provide a basis for new growth.  The purslane in my garden is beginning to produce enough for Purslane Salad.  What a paradox that many families during this time of pandemic could benefit from this free source of nourishment and omega 3 fats.  The health properties of purslane are well understood in many countries.  Its relationship to diabetes is clearly explained here.  As we have learned, diabetes is a hazardous condition for contracting serious Covid19.

How interesting that “sophisticated” American city living teaches us that weeds should be eradicated, whereas in villages and rural areas throughout the world, there exists an understanding of the necessity of these weeds for our health and I might add, the health of the soil. I am grateful that Takoma Park has finally elected to eradicate the use of Roundup in the area and I now feel very safe in using the purslane found in my garden.

Peeking throughout our garden are also sprigs of lamb’s quarters which have provided us with many spinach-like side dishes.

Salad of Purslane and Yogurt

The Cretans consume purslane raw with their thick drained yogurt, retaining all the precious vitamins.  Snowville Creamery 6% A2/A2 whole milk yogurt, again from organic grass-grazed Jersey cows, makes a wonderful imitation of Cretan yogurt if you put it in a fine mesh strainer for a few hours.  The other option is strained goat or sheep milk yogurt which is also A2 casein.  I have done both kinds of yogurts and it is equally delicious.  Save the drained whey for smoothies – it is like buttermilk. Many people who are sensitive to A1 milk casein can tolerate A2 casein.  The majority of milk in the US is A1 casein.  This recipe could be done with coconut yogurt, or other milk substitute yogurts, although I have not tried it.

  • 1/2 pound purslane, washed and tough stems discarded
  • 2 C drained high quality yogurt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed with 1 tsp.coarse salt 
  • 1 small cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh dill weed

Chop purslane into 1/2 inch lengths, discarding any tough stems.  Mash garlic with 1 teaspoon coarse salt.  Mix purslane in bowl with yogurt, oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic.  Add cucumber and dill. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.  Wonderful and refreshing as a relish, salad, or as an accompaniment to many main dishes.