PURSLANE

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In all the years I've been going to farmers' markets, I like to look around and see what fruit or vegetable that's been around forever is suddenly trendy. (Can you call a trendy vegetable, “the new green,” the way you call a trendy color “the new black?”) Ramps have been trendy for a long time now. So has kale.

My prediction is that purslane is the next “it” green.  I've been noticing that more and more farmers are selling it, and the prices are getting higher and higher.

Purslane is a vegetable that many people consider a weed. In Europe, India and in parts of the Middle East, purslane has always been popular.  One of the reasons you might want to consider using purslane is that it's higher in Omega 3's than any other leafy green vegetable. It's also high in Vitamin A & C, as well as calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Use the leaves and the young, tender looking stalks of the purslane. To remove the leaves, drag your fist from the root towards the tip, like you do with kale.  You can eat purslane raw or cooked (but be careful – add them add the end of cooking so they don't become slimy.)

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TEN  WAYS TO USE PURSLANE

1. Succotash - mix purslane with lima beans, corn and tomatoes

2. Greek salad - combine purslane, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, oregano, oil and vinegar

3. Pickled - toss them in with anything you're pickling like kimchi, cucumbers, radishes

4. Salad - sprinkle on salad with pickled red onion, olive oil and feta

5. Tabbouleh - mix with bulgur or quinoa, add chickpeas, tomatoes, olive oil, parsley and lemon

6. Tomato stew - stew summer tomatoes with garlic and onion, add purslane towards the end

7. Potato salad - add to a chopped potato salad along with hard boiled eggs and parsley

8. Eggs - make huevos con vedorlagas. Saute purslane and onion, add to scrambled eggs  along with salsa. Serve on tortillas.

9. Mexican Soup - add to a vegetable or chicken stock, along with chopped tomatoes, chopped chiles and cilantro.

10. Raita - Mix with plain yogurt, cucumber, cumin and cucumbers.