it’s summer, you eat … WHAT???!!!

Purslane: I call it a nutritious easy to grow crunchy little green (now officially renamed par moi a “super gourmet green” !). Add it to green salads, or – my favorite – to potato salad. Other people like it too: El – of course! (go to this post for a picture … if you need one) – and Chelsea whose post of Warm Potato & Purslane Salad inspired me to try purslane with potato salad. Nonetheless, he calls it a weed. He eats it, though – gingerly. Me? I am going to pickle it, having found a recipe in one of my French cookbooks.

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Radish seed pods: I call them tasty little bits, great for salads and stir-fries. He just shrug them off and eats around them. But then he has no particular fondness for radishes, any of it (except the quick pickled ones). Make sure to pick only young and immature pods: they toughen as the seeds mature. There is actually a radish bred for its pods, with the evocative name of Rat’s Tail Radish or sometimes – less poetically – podding radish. I use my standard French breakfast style radish and let them go to seeds. Flowers are pretty, attract pollinators and beneficial insects … and are edible too.

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We both agree though that green coriander seed is a short live treasure. Short lived in the garden, as you need to pick the young green immature seeds before they start to mature, and once picked must eat them within a few hours, before they start to dry. The taste is something between cilantro and coriander – which is no surprise since it is both – but without the toughness of the mature coriander shell. The younger the seed (smaller and more vibrant green, with no tinge of yellow), the brighter the taste. I use them in rillettes (just cooked for a few minutes), add to sautéed pork chops or chicken, salsa etc – again adding them just for the last couple of minutes of cooking. I like them so much that I am collecting some and freezing them for future use. The ones I don’t harvest green will become coriander: some will end up in the pantry, others will reseed themselves for a fall crop.



15 thoughts on “it’s summer, you eat … WHAT???!!!”

  • I laughed when I saw this. A friend got cultivated (I think) purslane from her CSA last week and asked me what to do with it. I didn’t have a clue, but I’ll pass this post on to her!

  • Wicked! I have been eating purslane for weeks–I have seen some around here in DC, and I have been sorely tempted to grab some, but you never know what’s been sprayed on them.

    Purslane is excellent in sandwich wraps, too.

    If only my radishes or cilantro would cooperate, I could try the seeds/pods… I will keep this in mind–I have been finding so many more things that are edible since gardening. Young bean leaves (like, kidney, etc) are excellent in a salad too!

  • I had to laugh too: both my daikon radish and my cilantro is seeding now and I spent a big part of today nibbling off of both! I had tried the radish seed pods earlier in the week, remembering that rat-tailed radishes are a good thing to grow if you have a lot of wire worms, or anything that tunnel through your root crops: what the heck, I will eat these pods, and they were lovely! And I was harvesting the coriander seed for saving for some dishes later.

    My family is like your hubby: not too keen on either coriander or radish pods.

    But the purslane! Our daughter is a fool for it. I might just have to hit you up for your pickle recipe, just to extend the harvest.

    And you said “rillettes” again, yum…

  • Sylvie, your posts are always a revelation. Who knew there was a radish to grow for the pods? And green cilantro seeds? First I’d heard of it, but definitely something to try. And just when I thought there would be some idle time around the garden this year….

  • He? He eats what’s put in front of him. But if it grows in the path where I need to walk, its fair game for the WEED wacker.

  • I haven’t ever tried cilantro/coriander for some reason. You have inspired me! Thank you!

  • Janet & El: I do get snorts, when I mention eating purslane. But then when I say I get $12 a pound for it in my gourmet mesclun blend that I provide for my clients, the snorts turn downright incredulous…

    Kenneth, thanks for stopping by. Whoa! good luck for your growing. Looks quite challenging to me. I bet purslane might grow more easily for you, even in a container, than some of the more standard veggies… just a thought…

    Ed- Idle time in the garden??? ahahahahah… you are SO funny

    He? – I love you!

    jp – le plaisir est pour moi

    Jennifer – give it a try. I have read that in both China and Mexico, the roots are eaten. I’d love to put my hand of the cultivar of cilantro that puts roots big enough to eat. Then I could eat the whole plant: roots, leaves, flowers and seeds!

  • I saw some gorgeous purslane at the dupont circle farmers market today….now youre making me regret not buying it! I did not know there was a radish bred just for its pod..I always learn something when I come here!

  • My cilantro / coriander went to seed a bit rapidly (first attempt at growing). I’ve just spent the evening harvesting my seed (if you’ll pardon the expression), and I noticed a lot that were still green.

    Not knowing if this was good to eat, I did a quick search and found this site – result is: I’ve just made one of my home made curries using the green seed and it has turned out with such a good flavour that I am typing this while still eating, Thanks for the info – I shall be using this again in future. (Apologies for the messy keyboard)

  • Purslane is delicious in a couple of Turkish dishes. One dish is cooked and tastes similar to cooked spinach but better. The other is raw with a yogurt based sauce.

    I know this sounds gross to the American ear BUT I promise you it is to die for. I love purslane, it has a rich citric taste and is so healthy. Why Americans don’t eat more is only because they don’t know what they are missing.

    If you are interested in the recipes for the aforementioned dishes you can google Turkish dishes with purslane. You will be glad to add this healthy and cheap option to your table. It grows so easily.

    Side note: When I speak of yogurt I do not mean the sweetened American version but the Turkish version much closer to Greek yogurt and if you are close to a Mediterranean market they most likely have Turkish yogurt.

    The word yogurt is a Turkish word as it was first made by the Ottoman Turks, and you have not eaten REAL yogurt until you try this creamy yogurt. It is not sweet, it is a bit salty and sour similar to sour cream. In Turkey, we substitute yogurt for sour cream in all of our cooking due to the better taste and it is so VERY healthy. As the Turks would say: Afiyet Olsun! (Bon Appetite)

  • Nancy, thanks for stopping by. I could not agree more: purslane is delicious. I like it lightly sauteed with olive oil, onions & garlic or in hortapita where I mixed it with other greens such as chard, beet greens, mint, lamb’s quarters, arugula etc. A friend of mine went to Turkey this summer and raved upon the delicious food, especially this vegetable she had never heard of: “purslane” – did I have any idea what it was? The following morning, there was a big basket of it on her door step…

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