The jar of coconut oil, which lives on the counter top next to the oven on account of it previously dominating an entire shelf inside my food cupboard, is the texture of soft scoop ice cream. That's how I can confidently say that summer is nearing its end. In Vancouver it is true, anyway. But I'm A-okay with that as I love Autumn and may even go so far as to declare it my favourite season. I shall be sad to see the last of the purslane though.
We discovered the joys of this prolific edible ground-cover plant last summer at the farmers' market where one particular vendor had laminated A4 sheets of paper, fine print to cram in as much information as they could muster, on purslane's health benefits. You can imagine this had me pricking up my ears and eager as a puppy to investigate further. It turns out this fairly nondescript succulent contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than most fish oils and more than any other leafy vegetable plant. Quite an accolade. It also seems there are enough essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to elevate it to true superfood status and surely, therefore, prompt you to truffle some out for yourselves - either by way of your own local market or a quick forage around the neighbourhood. It has a satisfyingly lengthy season from early summer to the first frost although, it is fair to say, the stems do become thicker and stringier as the season nears its end.
We've been tucking into this salad a fair bit in our house over the summer, mostly in the name of bumping up the old nutritional content but also because it tastes so darn good - and all the while making the most of the insanely cheap price of purslane. I'm not sure whether this is due to a lack of knowledge or popularity, or because it tends to be regarded as a nuisance weed which farmers are only too happy to offload from their land. Either way, I'm in. How about you?
Find today's recipe over at Autoimmune-Paleo.