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Portulaca: all the benefits and uses in the kitchen

purslane plant

Purslane is a small weed that, thanks to its strong flavor, can be used as a salad. Here are its properties and some recipes with purslane.

Purslane, belonging to the Portulacaceae family, is a widespread weed in vegetable gardens and gardens. Given its ability to take root on the ground, it often invades the vessels becoming annoying. Not everyone knows, however, that this plant can offer many benefits to the body and is widely used in the kitchen as an alternative to salads or in other preparations. So let’s discover its characteristics, properties and recipes together.

What is purslane?

The purslane is a weed, of the Portulacaceae family, of Asian origin but also transplanted in our peasant tradition. Also known as succulent grass, porcelain, porcacchia or precacchia, this plant prefers warm climates and grows spontaneously all year round.

purslane plant
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However, there are different types of purslane, the ornamental one, which is not edible and blooms with particularly bright colors, and the oleracea one. This type of variety is the wild one and is the one known for its benefits and uses in cooking. It is a plant suitable for all types of soil, even poor ones, and requires little watering.

If you want to grow it, remember to transplant purslane in a large, precise and delimited space, so that it does not invade other crops. Furthermore, it should be known that this plant is not toxic either for cats or dogs.

Portulaca: properties and benefits

As we have anticipated, the purslane plant is rich in benefits and properties, in fact we must know that it is a great source of Omega 3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The combination of these elements helps to counteract and reduce negative cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and to prevent the onset of diabetes and heart disease.

Consuming the leaves of this plant then allows you to take advantage of its diuretic, purifying and antibacterial qualities, which is why it can be consumed regularly. It is also very effective if you have high blood pressure , cirrhosis, heart and kidney failure or glaucoma. It is also able to relieve and cure intestinal diseases and disorders such as nausea, diarrhea, post-partum bleeding and vomiting.

Purslane is also widely used in Chinese medicine, which uses it in the form of herbal tea or tonic as a remedy for stomach and liver pains.

Recipes with purslane

You should know that purslane is a very versatile ingredient in cooking and can be used both raw and cooked in more elaborate recipes. If you want to try this raw plant, you can consume it as a crudité along with other vegetables. For example, you can prepare a purslane salad by adding two eggs, a stalk of celery, oil, salt and maybe almonds or walnuts.

purslane salad
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In a saucepan, boil the eggs and in the meantime wash and coarsely dry the purslane. Place the leaves in a bowl together with the almonds and walnuts, add the hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges. Chop the celery and season with salt, oil, a tablespoon of mayonnaise and, if you want, balsamic vinegar.

If, on the other hand, you want to eat it cooked, you can add the leaves and sprouts to soups , filled with fresh pasta, but also omelettes and baked preparations with cream or bechamel, or make it in batter. You can also prepare ratatouille by tossing the leaves of the plant in a pan along with other vegetables.

Another very tasty recipe that you can prepare is purslane tortilla . To prepare it, peel four potatoes and an onion, then wash and dry the leaves. In a bowl, beat four medium-sized eggs and season with salt and pepper. Heat a pan with oil and, only when it is hot, fry the potatoes and onion.

About halfway through cooking, lower the heat and add the purslane and beaten eggs. When the tortilla is well done by both the sides you can serve and eat hot .

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