Wait, you naughty, not that sort of weed! I’m talking about a weed that grows in your garden, on its own! One that you keep removing and that keeps coming back anyway. Purslane!
Purslane is magic. It’s peasant food and yet it is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It can be eaten raw or cooked in a myriad of ways. People use it all over the World for good reasons. It is also delicious.
Why another gratin?
If purslane can be eaten raw and in all sorts of ways, then why is this a recipe for another gratin? It’s identical to the sorrel gratin anyway! It absolutely is, you are right!
The thing is: gratin are super practical. You can cook them in advance and then reheat them the next day or whenever needed. There is nothing else to do, but toss them in the oven and set the table.
I don’t do gratin on a daily basis if that is what you are thinking. When I’m home, I’m more of a one pan daily cook.
However, when I’m at my dad’s place, I often do gratin. On my last trip there, it was no exception. When I arrived, I went to see my experimental corner in his garden and noticed that I had a lot of purslane growing. This is good for the other plants as purslane creates a micro environment which retains moisture. But since I knew the next day would be quite busy, I wanted to prepare something in advance for dinner. And right there, a purslane gratin sounded really good!
Purslane versus sorrel?
If you ask me, sorrel taste so much better than purslane. It is so much more interesting! But the sorrel didn’t look so good anymore and the purslane was thriving, so the choice between the 2 was easy.
What does purslane taste like?
My dad would tell you it taste like pickles… and he doesn’t really like pickles, so this isn’t a compliment! And it is true that it is a little bit sour. In my opinion, it has a really nice, subtile sour taste. It is also a little crunchy when eaten raw which is interesting in salads.
Some of the stems were quite fat, on the bits I cut and these remained quite fibrous. I should have maybe cooked them a bit longer.
When eaten in a salad, I only use the leaves or the end of the stems or little branches so basically, I leave the big stems alone!
Purslane gratin recipe
So again, this is extremely similar to the sorrel gratin recipe! I am #NotaFoodBlogger.
The big difference is that purslane needs to cook longer than the sorrel and it isn’t going to shrink.
It still starts the same:
A little bit of oil in the pan, some crushed garlic, maybe some tofu bits (I used lupine here) . Add your purslane right away, add seasoning and cook.
Once fairly cooked, I added coconut cream, and a little later, poured the thing in a dish that goes into the oven. You can cover with vegan cheese but as you know me, I used a copious amount of hazelnut powder and that’s it! It’s ready to be put into the oven for a little while!
I was so lazy after the drive!
Ways to make it better!
Yes, I was tired, very tired when I prepared this and I was preparing diner for that evening, at the same time.
In other words, it could have been better!
How? Well here are some ideas:
First and obviously you can add onions! Actually with purslane I recommend using scallops but you know, whatever you have is fine!
Then I would add dried cranberries! Or dried raisins. For a little sweet and sour taste.
Maybe I would actually pour the mixture on a bed of thinly sliced potatoes and then cover with another layer of sliced potatoes. That would look like a real gratin! Well actually much healthier than a real one 😉
To add some crunchiness, I would also maybe add some little bits of hazelnuts while cooking.
Well, at this point between the hazelnuts, the potatoes, the cranberries and the purslane, that sounds pretty good to me!
But hey, go ahead and create your own!