On Throwback Thursday I try to shine the spotlight on an heirloom variety. For some people, this is an introduction to a treasure from the past, for others a memory spark about a long forgotten favorite.
Today’s Thursday Throwback is Moss Rose, or Portulaca. This is also called Common Purslane and is considered an edible plant, good eaten in salad and also in stir-fry.
Portulacaceae: Portulaca grandiflora: Portulaca, Moss Rose
Moss Rose is extremely hardy. So hardy in fact that it can become invasive if you don’t discipline it regularly. However, it’s so pretty, you may choose to ditch the grass and keep the Moss Rose. Portulaca comes in many shades of red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. This little guy is so tough, you can often find it growing in the crevices of sidewalks, between paving stones and even in cracks of building foundations.
Portulaca has a really low profile, preferring to meander close to the ground. If pruned properly, it can reach it’s full height of about 30″. Okay enough of the jibber jabber, let’s see the flowers.
I said before, Purslane is edible. As a matter of fact, I grow a delicious variety that you may have heard of also. Miner’s Lettuce! This is an easy to grow green that is high in vitamin C. In fact, the legend is that Miner’s Lettuce got it’s name from the gold miner’s in Northern California and Oregon. It is said that the miners would forage for this herb and eat it to avoid scurvy. Whether it’s true or not is fodder for the old wives, but we can eat this delicious salad and get our daily requirement of vitamin C. It’s so easy to grow and it’s available year round with successive plantings. See the end of this post for a delicious recipe.
Scurvy Stopper Salad
Enough vitamin C to stave of the scurvy for good! = )
- 6 Cups Miner’s Lettuce (Or baby organic spinach if you’ve run short of Miner’s Lettuce
- ½ cup julienned carrot
- ½ cup julienned jicama
- 5-6 radish (your favorite color or variety daikon is great)
- 3 Tbs. mixed black and white sesame seeds (of course this is just a salad topper so they don’t have to be mixed colors. They add a nutty yumminess that is worth the addition)
- Moss Rose flowers for garnish (edible, beautiful try not to skip) Nasturtium can be substituted or even marigold petals in a pinch.
Rinse all veggies, julienne carrot, jicama, radish. Plate, Miners Lettuce in the middle, then just decorate the lettuce with your julienned carrots, jicama, radish and flowers. Dress (see following recipe) and finally sprinkle with sesame seeds. Voilá!
Orange Citrus Dressing
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce (optional)
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves pressed fresh garlic
- (The original recipe called for 2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger, I’m not a huge ginger fan so I skip it but if you love ginger, I’m sure you’d want to add it)
- The original recipe did not call for this however I use the zest from one orange as a flavor boost and garnish. I’m juicing the orange anyway, so why not?
- In medium sauce pan, heat orange juice until it reduces by about ½. Remove from heat.
- In Blender or mixer combine orange juice, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (I have also substituted saki here, it was delicious), water, pepper sauce. Blend on low 2 minutes, Add shallot, garlic and ginger if you’re using it, mix one minute. Refrigerate. Shake well before using.
Have a paisley Moss Rose day!~KeriAnne