Purslane is a leafy green vegetable that grows all over the world. Although it is commonly considered to be a weed, it is popular in some Mediterranean--particularly Greek--cooking. It works nicely in salads when fresh, as a side dish when lightly sauteed and when tossed in soups. The National Institutes of Health have found it contains higher levels of some nutrients than the green leafy powerhouse known as spinach. Unlike traditional "greens," which don't freeze well, purslane is similar enough to an herb that it can successfully be frozen in puree form.
Pluck all the purslane leaves off the stems by grasping the top of a branch in one hand and sliding the thumb and forefinger of your other hand down the stem. This will rip most of the leaves off in one smooth motion.
Cut the stems into 2-inch pieces with kitchen shears. Discard the roots, as they are not edible.
Put the leaves and stem pieces in the bowl of a food processor. If you have a lot of leaves, do this in two batches to allow the food processor to do its job efficiently.
Process until the leaves and stems are chopped, as for a pesto. Result should be slightly chunky, not creamy like baby food. Drizzle in a little water if the leaves are sticking to the sides of the bowl. Purslane leaves have a lot of gooey, mucilaginous juice, which can make them a little sticky. This is why they are commonly used to thicken soups.
Measure 1 tsp. and 1 tbsp. portions of purslane puree and pack them into the segments of an ice cube tray. Freeze for later use.
Pop frozen puree cubes out of tray and quickly transfer to small plastic bags for storage in the freezer.
Pack purslane puree into a small freezer-safe containers for use in larger amounts. Depending on the recipes you intend to make, freeze the purslane puree in 1/4-, 1/2- or 1-cup portions.
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Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker and writer who has written for several online publications, including Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.