Green Salsa with Purslane


I learned this dish from my friend Rosa, who learned it from her Granny. It's something that you can cook entirely on the grill, so it is a lifesaver on scorching days. It's delightful served with homemade refried beans and a stack of warm corn tortillas, but is especially good with carnitas. Go grab a few handfuls of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) if you've got any crawling along the ground nearby where you live. If you're new to purslane, learn more about how to identify it here.

Verdolagas en Salsa Verde  (Green Salsa with Purslane)


12-15 tomatillos
1 small onion
1-2 serrano chiles
4 cloves unpeeled garlic
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. lard or bacon grease
3 c. roughly chopped purslane
1/2 c. chopped cilantro

1. Husk and wash the tomatillos, and cut the onion in half (no need to peel it).

2. Place the tomatillos, onion, chiles, and garlic on a grill over high heat. Grill each until they are tender and have some nice char marks.

3. Throw the cooked tomatillos, onion (remove the charred outer layers first), chiles (stem removed, but leave the seeds), garlic (peeled), as well as the salt, sugar, and cumin into a blender, and coarsely process them.

4. You can do this step on a stove, but I continued to use the grill. Place a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and let the lard melt. When the pan is warm, but not yet to the point of the grease smoking, pour the contents of the blender into the skillet, and stir for 2 minutes.

5. Add the purslane to the green salsa, stir, and let it cook for another minute. The purslane will have just barely cooked through, and will have thickened the sauce.

6. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cilantro.


Comments

  1. Nice!

    It's looks like this would be a fairly inexpensive meal to make. I'm always looking for those.

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  2. This sounds so good I may actually keep the darn purslane in my garden!!!

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    Replies
    1. Well, if you're going to keep any of the edibles people typically think of as weeds in the garden, you could make a pretty good argument for purslane. At least it stays low to the ground and is easy to remove.

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  3. This will probably sound bad, but could I cheat and start with pre-made salsa?

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    Replies
    1. Sure! You could have a meal in minutes that way.

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  4. I wish my granny had eaten like this. You know how they say that you shouldn't eat anything that your grandmother didn't recognize as food? Well, mine loved margarine, rice a roni, and wonder bread!

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    1. I hear ya, Jenny. My Gran had jello nearly every day, spread Oleo (marg) on her bread, ate boxed cereal, and cooked her famous fried chicken in crisco. That's not to say she didn't eat well. I recall there being lots of veggies and pickles at every meal. But I think to a certain extent, we've managed to romanticize the recent past.

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  5. I made this recipe an hour after you put it up and it was so fantastic. I think I'm going to be hunting down other people's purslane just so I can make it. Will this recipe freeze?

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    1. That's wonderful Irena. I've not tried it, but I think this recipe would freeze well.

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  6. Hey I have a friend Rosa too who teaches me to make recipes her mom taught her. This summer, we made 80 tamales together. This looks good, B. Thanks for the verdolagas recipe. Did the recipe call for purslane originally?

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    1. You know how much I love tamales!

      The original recipe did call for verdolagas. I know, it's rare that I don't mess with a recipe and make it more wild, but this one is pretty much as my friend taught it to me.

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  7. Hunter Angler Gardener Cook recommend your site. Glad for the referral, as I see so much good food here.

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