In Season: Purslane

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Purslane is starting to show up at farmers' markets, and so recently we began getting questions from readers about what to do with it.

Considered a weed by many gardeners, purslane is a succulent plant that grows low and sprawling in everything from wide open meadows, to container gardens, and even your lawn. It grows wild and can be harvested as such, but just beware of a look-alike called spurge, which sometimes grows nearby. (When its stem is broken, spurge gives off a milky sap).

It has a mildly sour flavor and a chewy texture. Eaten raw, purslane leaves and stems are a wonderful addition to salads. You can steam them or add them to soups, stews, and other vegetable dishes. Here are some recipes using purslane:

Cucubumber Purslane Yogurt Salad
Ikarian Potato Salad with Purslane
Sorrel and Purslane Soup
Cream of Purslane Soup

To read more about how to find your own purslane in the wild, read what Wildman Steve Brill has to say.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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