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Garden Salad, Remixed

Garden Salad, Remixed
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Penny Lane is in our ears and in our eyes. But Purslane is here beneath suburban skies.

For years, this little leafy superfood has lived quietly in our yards, parks and gardens – hiding from sight and gloved hands. Pick it and do more than eradicate a pesky weed: you’ll also snag a key ingredient off the menus of upscale eateries.

Purslane’s spicy, citrusy leaves have long played a part in Chinese, Mexican and Greek cuisines. But we Americans are just catching on. Suddenly, this verdant veggie is popping up not just under our lawnmowers, but in notable venues like Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano (Baltimore) and celebrity chef Steve Johnson’s cucumber-yogurt salad recipe.

Unique flavor aside, Purslane is packed with ten to twenty times more melatonin (an antioxidant sleep aid that may fight cancer) than most vegetables and fruits. It also has more heart-healthy omega-3 fats than any other edible green veggie. And a trip to the garden is cheaper, and easier on the nose, than one to the fish market.

So knock two items off your list this weekend: weed the garden, and fill your fridge. Because Purslane may be classified as a noxious weed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but it’s alright by us – and far too tasty for the compost heap.

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