Monday, July 11, 2011

Kale and Purslane Salad with day lily buds.

Last summer i posted about Purslane, which is a common weed that grows in many gardens and lawns. Many folks don't realize that purslane is edible. Not only is it edible, it's really nutritious and it taste good!! The plant is rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene, and quite high in protein. It is considered a better source of essential omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy plant.

Today i was in the mood for a garden lunch, something i could just pick and throw together. i've been wanting to try the Kale recipe that was posted by Brandy on It looked really good, but i didn't have all the ingredients. Then i started looking around for a new purslane recipe, as i have tons of purslane right now. i found this recipe which looked good, but i don't have (or like) capers or Arugula. i also wanted to use ingredients from my own garden, so i picked some fresh kale, purslane, tomato, onion, garlic and daylily buds.

i decided to try combining the two recipes using the ingredients i had on hand.

What i used was
a couple big handfuls of fresh kale.
1 medium size tomato diced
1 clove of garlic minced
A generous handful Purslane (more or less to taste)
a small handful of Daylily buds (see note below.)
1/4 olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 small onion or scallion thinly sliced.

Wash your kale leaves, remove stems (and worms) and tear into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Place in a bowl. Now mix the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic and pour over the kale leaves. Stir this well, and add the purslane, onions, tomato and day lily buds. Season with salt if desired. The longer this marinades the more tender and flavorful the kale leaves become.

This was surprisingly tasty, although i feel like it was still missing something. A handful of pinenuts, walnuts or feta cheese might give it what it needs...or maybe the avocado or chickpeas mentioned in the other recipes. It was tasty enough that will make it again, and play around with some other ingredients.

Something i didn't realize is that as a companion plant, Purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for nearby plants, stabilizing ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will "follow" purslane roots down through harder soil than they can penetrate on their own. It is actually known as a beneficial weed. (from Wikipedia)
So no need to pull it from the garden, you can let it grow even if you don't plan to eat it.

* Please note, that not all lilies are edible. Some are very toxic. Easter lilies and Asian lilies are poisonous. Do not attempt to eat lilies unless you can correctly identify them. Lilies of the genus Hemerocallis, the common daylily are edible. Though, eating large quantities of the plant raw can cause stomach upset and diarrhea in some people.


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