Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sauteed Purslane and Tomatoes

Purslane is one of those greens that rarely makes it to our plates. And why is that? It's an extremely versatile vegetable, can be eaten in salads or sauteed, and has one of the highest vegetable concentrations of those infallible omega 3's we know and love. I discovered purslane about 3 years ago when I happened upon it at the stand of 4 Sisters Farms.

Slightly sour like sorrel and quite crunchy, I was definitely intrigued. It's rare for me to find a vegetable that hasn't passed my lips so this was a triumph! A triumph that I kept to myself for the next 36 months. I don't know why I never shared this delicious exploit with Gray. I think it goes back to my issue with sharing. Perhaps it's that this new food revelation was just for me. Gray has beer, croissants, pizza, which subsequently means purslane is all mine! (Not that I'm against Gray's indulgences, they just don't work for my delicate system. Can you hear the tears dropping on the keyboard?)

So, last week I bought another beautiful bunch of my favorite secret green and decided it was time to bring my horded treat to our shared dinner table. The dish came together in about 6 minutes flat. Onions from the pantry, a few leftover dry-farmed tomatoes, chopped purslane and that was it. The greens softened just enough while still maintaining their toothiness. I served it with eggs and roasted potatoes (a quick dinner staple) though it would also be an ideal topping for brown rice, quinoa, or French green lentils. Enjoy and happy purslane exploring!

Sautéed Purslane and Tomatoes

1 medium onion, diced
4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
2 medium tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
1 bunch of purslane, washed and chopped
3 tablespoons of water
sea salt to taste
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 5 minutes, until onions become translucent. Throw in the chopped tomatoes with their juices and cook together another 5 minutes. Add the purslane, water, another pinch of salt and mix thoroughly. Reduce the heat to low, place a lid over the pan and let cook for 7 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the mixture together. Season with salt to taste and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Top with the cilantro and serve. Enjoy!

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