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Edible Weeds – Bruschetta with Purslane and Wild Arugula

August 2, 2010

My brother-in-law Michele Arena has taught me a lot about gardening and herbal remedies and this healthy and free tip is one of my favorites to pass along. While in Vieste one hot summer day, we arrived to Michele and Antoinetta’s country house where a huge platter of bruschetta (brew-skeh-ta, not brew-shetta, please) like the one below was waiting for us. Michele had grilled the thick slices of the hearty bread on an open fire he had started for grilling our lunchtime fish while his wife Antoinetta, an amazing cook, had thrown together a bunch of vegetables from their garden to make the topping. This was the first time I’d eaten purslane. Michele told me the name in the local dialect and of it’s many health benefits. I wasn’t until I was back in the States, years later, that I saw it again in a local park and was thrilled to discover that it grew in the USA too. One fun fact is that purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. The botanical name is Portulaca oleracea and grows in most climates. It is a common weed and if you look closely you might see it in your garden so be sure not to throw it out, add it to your salad or anyplace you’d use leafy greens.

 

Bruschetta with Purslane & Wild Arugula

for 4 servings you’ll need

8 thick slices hearty bread, toasted or grilled then rubbed on one side with raw garlic

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup  chopped cucumbers

1  Tbsp chopped red onion

1/4  cup torn arugula leaves

1/4  cup purslane leaves

2  Tbsp. olive oil

pinch of sea salt

Mix all in a bowl and spoon onto toasted bread. Top with fresh mozzarella slices if you like.

Cucumber, wild arugula, purslane, tomatoes straight from the garden

Grilled hearty Italian bread rubbed with garlic

Mix all with olive oil & salt

Top with fresh mozzarella if you’d like

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pam Barker permalink
    August 3, 2010 8:43 am

    I just pulled a handful of purslane from a client’s garden this week and saved it because of our conversation Amy. I just need to figure out how to cultivate it now. Brusch(k,k,k) etta is on the menu for this evening. I remember this as one of my favorites from our visit with you to Vieste I think! The wild arugula isn’t the same here, but I’ll give it a go. Save some seeds if you think about it.
    Cheers!

  2. Megan L permalink
    August 3, 2010 12:53 pm

    Amy, we have TONS of purslane in the community garden! Here are some other very interesting recipes for purslane that I found.

    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/98promotions/april/recipes.html

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