My house has a longish rocky driveway and purslane grows like crazy along the edges. I also find it in my garden beds, so I eat it quite a lot. I love its slightly sour flavor raw in salads, and I occasionally cook with it. But it never occurred to me to make pickled purslane until I saw a recipe in Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving by Kevin West.
I am new to Kevin’s work (he also has a blog called Saving the Season) and I really enjoy his writing. I own many preserving books but have found Saving the Season to be particularly charming. I’ve loved everything from the book I’ve made so far this summer, including several types of jams and the Sunshine Pickles…Kevin’s recipes are truly inspiring and unique.
Purslane is an edible wild plant with an incredible nutritional profile. According to herbalist Susun Weed, purslane is an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, as well as the minerals calcium and magnesium. Purslane is also a source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha linolenic acid). This recipe is easy to make except for one thing: you have to pluck the leaves from the purslane stems (and 1/4 pound is A LOT of purslane leaves!). This is a bit of a pain to be sure, but if you quiet your lazy bits and get meditative about it, you may actually enjoy it. I did.
So how do you eat pickled purslane? Kevin suggests serving it with sandwiches or charcuterie. I like it straight out of the jar…I’ve found it to be a welcome addition to scrambled eggs and enjoy it tossed into salads, too.
Recipe for Pickled Purslane
Yield: 1 quart
Kevin's recipe is below...I simplified it a bit by omitting the fennel seeds, coriander, and allspice berry and it was still amazing. I may add more garlic and an additional chili pepper next time.
*1/4 pound purslane leaves, picked from the stems
*3 or 4 fresh dill fronds
*1 fresh or dried chili pepper
*1 clove garlic, crushed
*1 1/2 cups white-wine vinegar (I used raw apple cider vinegar instead)
*1 1/2 cups water
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
*1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
*1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
*1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
*1 allspice berry
1. Rinse and drain the purslane leaves. Pack them into a scalded wide-mouth quart jar with the dill fronds, chili, and garlic.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Pour into the jar to cover the purslane completely. Seal, and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for at least a week before using. This will keep for up to several months.
Reprinted with permission from the uncorrected proof of Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving by Kevin West.