Purslane is a broad-leaved weed that is also an edible plant. Native to India and Persia, this edible weed grows worldwide and is a popular vegetable in China, Greece and Mexico. It has plump luscious leaves and stems with yellow flowers, and can grow just about anywhere in various soil conditions from fertile to arid soil.
It is best to eat fresh young plants, especially the crisp and succulent leaves and tender stem tips. Purslane tastes similar to watercress or spinach with a mild lemon flavor and can be enjoyed fresh in salads or sandwiches. It can also be steamed, stir-fried or pureed, but will become a little slimy if its overcooked.
Purlsane has the highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats than any other edible plants. It also has ten to 20 times more melatonin antioxidant than any other fruit or vegetable, according to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Purslane is rich in vitamins A and C, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. It is a good source of niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate.
Purslane is available in summer in your local farmers market, and Asian and Mexican grocery stores.