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Old 07-20-2016, 12:22 AM   #31
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Thoughts on Foraging

It grows just fine in every crack in my brick sidewalk, along with every raised bed.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:44 AM   #32
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Purslane isn't new. It was grown in the kitchen gardens in Colonial Williamsburg.
I'm sure it was, and used as a food, too, even earlier than Williamsburg. Either my Mom didn't know it was edible, or she ignored that fact because she didn't want to serve her family "weeds". I know I got a bit of an argument every time I tried putting nasturtium blossoms in our salads!

I'm not sure it grows wild up here in MA. We've been here almost 16 years and I can't remember ever having seen it. Probably still growing the the sidewalk cracks of my childhood home in OH, though.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:07 AM   #33
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Funny how our perception of what's good to eat changes over time.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:57 AM   #34
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Funny how our perception of what's good to eat changes over time.
and I think its funny how the food network tried to plug it as an exotic ingredient. I guess its exotic for someone somewhere.

Has anyone ever seen it sold in a store (purslane, that is) ??
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:12 AM   #35
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and I think its funny how the food network tried to plug it as an exotic ingredient. I guess its exotic for someone somewhere.

Has anyone ever seen it sold in a store (purslane, that is) ??
Here ya go!

A little different than the common purslane we find in the driveway, a cousin maybe.



Micro Purslane Verdolaga
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:48 PM   #36
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Here ya go!

A little different than the common purslane we find in the driveway, a cousin maybe.



Micro Purslane Verdolaga
Cool.
I like how they have the ' micro' to keep it trendy
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:49 PM   #37
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Cool.
I like how they have the ' micro' to keep it trendy
That packaged purslane is different from what I've seen. Perhaps it is micro purslane. "Regular" purslane has a thicker, shinier leaf.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:30 PM   #38
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Micro just means young, and plants often do look different at different stages of development. There are quite a few varieties, although I doubt very many are cultivated commercially.

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Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose) is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in height.

Approximately forty cultivars are currently grown.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:35 PM   #39
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I heard it through the grapevine...

Does anybody use grape leaves? They're easy to find in jars, and are decent (if a little hard to separate without ripping them, and fairly lacking in taste), like these:


I know for a fact that wild grapevines grow in upstate NY, which varies between 90F+ in summer and -20F- in winter (with very little in-between: I hate upstate NY weather), so I suspect they grow anywhere.

Here's what they look like in Spring, when it's best to pick them:


The ones you want are full-sized, but are still bright green, unblemished new leaves. From the above selection, I would perhaps pick only three, but a typical grapevine will yield all you need and more. You can use the darker, older leaves, but they get rather stiff and bitter (much like my ex-wife). Don't use leaves that have even a little insect damage, because when attacked they quite deliberately turn themselves bitter

To prepare, cut out most of the stalk from the leaf, in a V-shape going about halfway up the leaf. You can blanch them, steam them, but quickest and easiest is to wash them, leave them slightly wet, lay them in one layer on a spanking-clean turntable and zap until done. Start with 20 seconds, but adjust to your own microwave. You want them pliable, but still with a little resistance.

What you get is something glorious, a distant, more elegant and tasteful cousin to the jarred stuff. In the West, they're used almost exclusively for dolmatas:


There ain't nothing wrong with stuffed grape leaves, but with fresh leaves, you can go much further, like this halibut roasted in grape leaves:


If you ever bake anything with a salt crust, it might be appropriate to first wrap it in grape leaves. Also, here's a classy-looking preparation from Epicurious that uses a grape-leaf spread:


But that was just five minutes of searching. Give them a taste, and let your imagination run wild. Right now I'm imagining a grape leaf, kalamata olive, feta, apple, and tangerine salad...
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:44 PM   #40
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OutR--I pick them on the fence lines in June. A few years ago, my son and I picked a lot of them, washed them outside, cut out the stem, stacked them, folded them to fit in a jar, then canned them in a brine of salt/water. I love the taste of them. Mostly we used them for dolmades. (sp?)

Good post with the pictures and all, thanks!
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