Purslane and Black Beans - Verdolagas


Purslane & Black Beans - Verdolagas Recipe

 

Purslane, Portulaca oleracea, is a southwest weed that grows rampant throughout the urban desert areas of Phoenix and Tucson during the summer months of July and August.  It is somewhat succulent and has mucilaginous properties. This means it gets a little slimy when you chew on a raw leaf... if you've ever had okra, it's a bit like that, but not quite as extreme in the slime department. As it contains mucilaginous compounds, it is quite good for the digestive tract, moistening all of the tissues along its journey through the body. This lovely wild weed is also an extremely rich plant-source of essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3s, which is so cool, if you ask me!  This plant is also very rich in fiber, many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants... not to mention it tastes awesome too.

I wild harvested purslane to make Verdolagas, a classic Mexican Southwest specialty. It is traditionally cooked with pork, but there are different variations, so I kept this recipe vegetarian friendly. The main ingredient in this delicious dish is the wonderful plant Purslane. I have combined the Verdolagas and my favorite Mexican-style black beans to create a delicious dish, enjoy the recipes :)

Purslane & Black Beans - Verdolagas Recipe

 

Purslane & Black Beans - Verdolagas Recipe

Verdolagas

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh purslane
1 medium tomato
1/2 of a white onion
4 tomatillos
2 serrano peppers
3 cloves of garlic
1 Lime
Salt & pepper to taste
1 handful of cotija cheese

Method:
Wash and sort through the purslane, taking out any stray plants and removing wilted leaves. Set aside on paper towel and dab it dry. Next, place the tomato, tomatillos, serrano peppers, onion and garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse it on and off until it becomes the consistency of a classic fresh salsa. Squeeze half of the lime over this blend, sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Place this portion of the recipe in the fridge.

Next, we will cook down the purslane. Filling a large sauté pan with 1 inch of water, place all of the purslane in the pan on medium heat. Allow the water to boil and the purslane to cook down. The purslane will become very wilted and discolored - it is the classic way of cooking this dish, but you could leave a bit of life in the leaves if you choose! Once the purslane is cooked as well as desired, bring the pan over to the sink and allow most of the water to filter out of the pan. Then remove the salsa blend from the fridge and add about 1/2 of it to the sauté pan of purslane (you can keep the rest as a salsa or freeze it for next time). I drizzled a bit of extra virgin olive oil in it here too, but that is totally optional! Begin to mix the salsa blend and purslane on medium heat, letting it all cook down together for about 5-10 minutes. 

And that's it! I added my Mexican-style black beans (see my recipe below) to it, a couple of corn tortillas, half an avocado and a squeeze of lime and WOW, it was delish! A small handful of cotija cheese would make a great addition, I meant to add this, but of course forgot it when I went to the market.

Mexican-Style Black Beans

Ingredients:
3 cups soaked black beans
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 an onion, in 1 inch pieces
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili pepper
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
Add all ingredients plus 4 cups of water to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking the beans for 1 1/2 hours. Garnish with your favorite Mexican toppings - avocado, cilantro,  squeeze of lime, sprinkle of cotija cheese, etc. Enjoy :)

 

I hope you all enjoy this nourishing meal as much as I do!

Purslane and Black Beans - Verdolagas

Sending BIG love,

Joey


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