I suspect I wasn’t the only one to pick up my CSA share, spot the purslane, and immediately ask, “What the hell is that!?”
One of the things I like about the CSA is experimenting with edible stuff I haven’t encountered before. But I’m also very conservative in my recipe creation — I don’t trust myself to wing it. So I asked the Googles: What do I do with purslane?
I found surprisingly few answers. Most recipes suggest adding raw purslane to salads. Confession time: I’m not a big salad fan. Raw leaves bore me.
Another popular suggestion was to use the purslane in stews and pasta dishes. Pasta — that I can do! And it seemed like a good excuse for a round of “let’s clean out the fridge and toss everything we can into this dish.”
The “stuff that needs eating” pile yielded: half an avocado, the weekly kale shipment, and a bit of bottarga.
My anti-salad stance has an exception: Despite my initial skepticism, I’ve become a raw kale fan. Mixing in lemon juice seems to wilt the leaves a bit and make them taste less, well, raw. And avocado makes anything taste awesome.
Meanwhile, I diced up my CSA garlic and red onion for the pasta. Garlic is now my very favorite thing to find in the CSA share — I’ve never had it fresh and in season, and was surprised how much more moist and pungent it is than the usual store bought garlic.
For the purslane, I used only the leaves, though if we get it again (note to Kristen: pretty please?) I’ll try the stems, too. While fettuccini boiled, I toasted some bread crumbs, then sautéed the onions and garlic in a bit of leftover bacon grease I had in the fridge. In the process, I also leaned too close to the burner and accidentally set my camera cord on fire. Food photography: Not for amateurs.
Once the fire was extinguished, I tossed the purslane into the onion/garlic/grease mix to cook the leaves a bit. When the pasta finished, I added it to the pan and mixed in olive oil, the bread crumbs, and a bunch of grated bottarga.
Verdict: Not bad! The avocado-kale salad is addictive, and the purslane was fun to play with. And best of all, I thinned out the veggie drawer and concocted dinner without having to leave the house for supplies.
Now to tackle that giant pile of cucumbers …