|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Purslane is often yanked out of gardens as a weed, but it is a delicious vegetable with a long history of use in many European cultures. It is packed with vitamins and even healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Purslane is delicious, and its thick, succulent stems make a fabulous pickle.
- 2 1/2 pounds purslane (weighed with the leaves still attached to the stems)
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar (OR 1 1/2 tablespoons honey)
- 1 teaspoon salt (kosher or other non-iodized salts)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 allspice (whole)
The key to making great purslane pickles is to use only the thickest stems. They should be between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
Set up the boiling water bath that you will process your jars of pickled purslane in, and turn the heat on high to bring the water to a boil.
Wash the purslane. Pinch off the clusters of leaves and any stems that are too skinny to pickle. But don't discard those leaves and thinner stems! They are fantastic in salads or chopped and added to soups, where their mucilaginous property will have a nice thickening action.
Chop the thicker purslane stems into pieces approximately 1 1/2 - 2 inches long.
Slice off the ends of the onion and peel it. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice the halves into slivers.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar or honey, salt and spices in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to release the flavors of the spices.
While the vinegar and spice brine is simmering, load the jars. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe, but they should be scrupulously clean. Place one of the jars on its side (it's easier to load in the purslane stems that way). Put the purslane stems in so that they will stand vertically when the jar is upright. First, create a bottom tier of stems. Scatter some of the onion slivers over that layer. Start a second layer of purslane stems on top of the onion. Keep adding more stems until it is impossible to fit in even one more: the purslane will shrink a little during canning, and packing the stems in tightly keeps them from floating up out of the brine.
Repeat with the other jar(s).
Pour the hot brine over the purslane stems. They should be completely covered by the liquid, but still, have at least 1/2 an inch of space between the surface of the brine and the rims of the jars.
Screw on canning lids. Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Wait at least a week before tasting - it takes that long for the flavors to combine and mellow.