Purslane started showing up at the farmer’s market recently. As you may know by now, I am always up for trying something I have never tried before. This week I am going to the Cal-Mex border and making chili beans and oxtails rojo. As a side dish, I decided to sauté purslane with Anaheim chilies and Mexican green onions (cebollines).
For this dish I am only using fresh chilies and I am sautéing them with the skins on. For my oxtails I am using only dried chilies. My chili con carne will have fresh chilies, roasted and peeled fresh chile pods, and a chili powder made from dried chilies. While each dish in this meal may have similar ingredients, they should turn out very differently in taste, texture, and flavor. Jan is calling this my Iron Chef Chile Challenge.
Purslane is one of those plants you probably have growing in your yard as a weed. Who knew it was editable? Apparently everyone, it is eaten throughout much of Europe, the middle east, Asia, and Mexico. You can use it fresh in salads, as an herb in soups, or sauté it like spinach. Chocolate & Zucchini, a blog written by Clotilde Dusoulier, lists 45 things to do with purslane.
While the thicker stems are edible, they are fairly tough. Strip off the leaves and tender parts of the stems and wash them well. One pound of leaves and stems should produce about one third of a pound purslane for your dish.
When I got to this point I thought I was done creating this dish, but it would look a bit bland with only greens and white. Looking out my window at the garden, I noticed that this year’s pepper plant had one ripe pepper ready for use. I decided to toss it in as a garnish for the color.
After Dinner Note: Perslane is not like any other vegetable I have eaten. I can definately recommend trying it if you get the chance (check your back yard, it may be growing there). Jan really liked it and it paired very well with the chilies, onions and lime.
Karl’s Purslane with Chilies and Mexican Green Onions
10 Mexican green onions
2 Anaheim chilies
1 Jalapeño chile
1/3 lb. purslane
2 Tbs. Corn oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Black pepper, to taste
Pinch Kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 ripe red mini Jalapeño pepper, minced
1. Wash and trim the green onions. Cut the bulb from the leaves and chop the leaves in to two inch pieces. Keep the white bulbs separate.
2. Cut the stem from the chilies and remove the seeds. Slice the chilies in half lengthwise and then chop into ¼ inch half moons.
3. Stem and rinse the purslane well.
4. Put the oil into a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
5. Add the white onion bulbs and cook, covered, for three minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, so that the onions brown on all sides.
6. Add the chilies and sauté for three more minutes.
7. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pan and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the rest of the vegetables.
8. Stir in the purslane and the green parts of the onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes more until the purslane is tender.
9. Add pepper and salt to taste.
10. Stir in the lime juice and transfer to a serving bowl.
11. Garnish with the red pepper and serve.