The technical name is portulaca oleracea, which means "eaten as a cultivated herb." And it was, too, for thousands of years. It grows all over the Mediterranean and has spread throughout the world. Greeks ground the seeds in with their flour, and Indians considered it a healing herb. It is a good source of quite a few nutrients, and is considered a very good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and magnesium, and is especially high in omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants, the cancer fighters. Here is a link to the Journal of American College of Nutrition study, which found purslane better than spinach in multiple categories. http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstract/11/4/374 Website suite101.com quoted dietician and leading nutrition consultant, Kate Geagan, who stated, "Purslane is one of the richest sources of ALA (alpha linolenic acid), which is a precursor to DHA. In other words, if you can't eat fish, purslane helps fight heart disease and stroke, too." OK, ready to try it yet? Purslane is a succulent: moist and crunchy and slightly lemony, it is refreshing in a salad. Its mucilaginous quality makes it a good thickener for soups. The stalks can even be pickled, or breaded and put in a casserole. If you have a whole bunch, put it in a paper bag for a few weeks. The seeds will ripen, and you can winnow them out and use them in your breads, or sprinkle them on top of dishes.
Here’s a recipe that sounds great: Purslane, pepper, and tomatoe salad with lemon and olive oil. All ingredients to taste. Purslane is a high source of iron, but iron has to be "bioavailable" in foods. Purslane’s iron is enhanced by the vitamin C in the pepper, tomato and lemon, making it more available to our bodies. So add purslane to you next salad, or stir-fry it up as a side dish. It should be your newest superfood!