PURSLANE FROM KATWIJK

Yesterday I was visiting my friends who live in Katwijk.

When we see each other we always speak about food, the freshness of food, the way people eat or look at their food, vegan food and so on. There is always something to talk about when we are together.

we were supposed to go to the dunes in Katwijk to see what is growing there foodwise. Unfortunately the weather was so bad we decided not to go. As I was pretty upset, they showed me the fresh purslane they picked last weekend (not too much of course since that is prohibited) and instead of me seeing it with my own eyes they told me it all looked so beautiful and that nature has so much to offer. This was the winter purslane and we used it in a salad with other lovely ingredients. We could really taste the freshness of the wild purslane. It was really delicious.  Next time I will be sure to join them into the dunes and to see everything myself instead of only eating it.

So what is purslane and how to use it?

Purslane is a one year plant, belonging to the purslane family. It’s origine can be found in India and the Middle-East. One specific breed can be found in Asia, Surinam and Europe and will be eaten as vegetables. In Iran people eat this plant for more than 2000 years, that’s how old the plant is.

Purslane can be up to 5-50 cm hight and has fleshy leaves. The wild purslane has lying, smooth, silky, reddish stems and the cultured version has standing stems. In the Netherlands wild purslane grows from June still the fall and has 1,2 cm yellow flowers. It only blooms for several hours in the morning.

Purslane has a slightly sour and salty taste and can be eaten fresh as well as cooked. It is a real summer vegetable and overall can be bought from May untill September. Purslane is very delicate and most Supermarkets sell it in already weighed plastic bags of 400 or 500 grams instead of doing it yourself to prevent premature littering.

Purslane contains the most omega 3 fatty acids of all leafy vegetables.