Native Greens: Purslane

Hollywood, California

If you're lucky, you might have this growing in your front yard or garden. The next best thing is finding it at the farmers' market!

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In areas with large Mexican populations, this edible weed is frequently referred to by its Spanish name of verdolagas. It's also known as purslane, pigweed, or hogweed. Sadly, it's often overlooked and discarded here in the United States, but it's widely eaten in Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

We first learned about verdolagas from our second grade teacher, a man from Guadalajara who pulled the mildly sour, succulent greens from our school garden and cooked them into eggs and soups. Today, we still add the leaves to scrambled eggs or just sautée them in some olive oil and garlic and eat them with warm tortillas.

Our seasonal spotlight on purslane has more information and a few recipes. Since we're writing from Southern California, we thought we'd add a few more links here for Mexican-inspired recipes.
Purslane and Pork Stew, from Saveur
Squash Blossom and Purslane Soup, from Saveur
Verdolagas with Tomatillo and Queso Fresco, from Chanfles

• For more information on the Hollywood farmers' market and other Los Angeles area markets, visit Farmernet.com

Related: In Season: Purslane

(Images: Emily Ho)

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