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)
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.