Sunday, June 22, 2008

Greens: Purslane (aka Miner's Lettuce or The Gardener's Curse)

Last October, purslane showed up in episodes of Top Chef and Next Iron Chef. Highlighting what I tend to view as the obvious differences between the audiences of the two shows, Dale featured purslane in a scallop dish for the Top Chef finale while Michael Symon bestowed it on Chris Cosentino as a kind of culinary curse.

It turned at the Farmer's Market two weekends ago, piled high in the Ledesma Family Farms stand, a page of recipes helpfully displayed next to it. I was surprised to see purslane recipes from Gourmet dating back to 2000 on epicurious.

When it came time to prepare ours, I was short on ingredients for those recipes. I marinated some shaved fennel in lemon juice and a little white wine vinegar, tossed the purslane with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. What wikipedia describes as the 'mucilaginous' quality of purslane was evident, but the bright flavors stood out. No photos of the salad though. I'd opened a bottle of syrah by then.

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