At my favorite Minneapolis restaurant, The Bachelor Farmer, I had a scrumpdidilioumptous appetizer of pickled duck hearts, blueberries, hazelnuts and purslane. Yes folks, purslane! That annoying weed that routinely pops up like an unwelcomed blemish on your first day of middle school! That purslane. Believing one of the top Minneapolis restaurants could pull off using a weed on their menu, I felt, I too could make this work.
Off to the garden I went...
Purslane, if you aren't familiar, is the plant in the photo above with the petal like leaves. It has a very sprightly taste that is reminiscent of sorrel. Unlike sorrel however, purslane has a thick stem providing a delightful crunchy explosion in the mouth. Pondering its more flattering characteristics, instead of my abhorrence of it drowning out my baby carrots and making weeding a nightmare, I came up with the pickle concept.
A google search, of course, revealed pickled purslane had, alas, already been done. I strayed away from using a prefabricated pickled purslane recipe and instead used a technique I had tried earlier in the week for making pickled elderberry capers found here, A basic brine, some patience and voilà! The tens of hundreds of pesky little weeds running rampant in my garden now became delectable salad toppings!
Weeding time becomes harvesting time! As always, enjoy!
Note: Both the vinegar and pursulane itself make this a very puckery pickle. The addition of a little sugar to the brine (perhaps a teaspoon) might reduce the sourness factor.
enough purslane to fill a pint jar (roots and dirt clods removed)
2 T. kosher salt
1/2 c. water
1 cup white wine vinegar
Wash the purslane very well. At least 4 or 5 rinses should do the trick.
Combine the salt, (sugar, if using), water and stir till the salt is dissolved.
Pour the salt solution over the purslane, cover with a towel, and set in a cool place to brine for 24 hours.
After 24 hours drain and rinse the purslane. Put in a pint jar and fill the jar with the vinegar till the purslane is completely submerged.
Cover and set in the refrigerator, waiting at least one week before opening.