Got around to testing out a couple purslane recipes this week! I made a single batch of purslane pesto and a batch of purslane chimichurri.
The chimichurri is as close as live links will get me to purslane chutney, and I am not set up to handle the last step of making purslane relish, which involves canning. The chimichurri turned out great immediately, if not needing a quick stir before each use as the olive oil tends to want to separate. The pesto seemed to be lacking something and I wasn’t sure what it was. I did observe that the recipe was lacking in the spice department however.
I began looking around for ways to use pesto outside of pasta, as I am certain my grown kids won’t eat it that way. I found several lists sharing uses for it from spreads on sandwiches and toast, to stirring into savory baking, to adding to soups and stews, adding to stirfries, mixing into bread crumbs, using in place of garlic on french bread, etc. After reading those lists, I used it in a meatloaf sandwich today at lunch. I’d imagine the chimichurri could have all those uses too.
While I was reading one of the “beyond pasta” uses for the pesto, I read how many people feel the basil/garlic flavour is quite strong. My recipe didn’t call for either one! I pulled it out of the fridge, dumped it into a bowl, promptly added 2 heaping spice spoons of garlic and a couple of crushed basil leaf, stirred it in, and THAT was what was missing!
I didn’t have pine nuts, so I used a homemade nut mix instead. Some recipes call for pecan instead of the pine nuts, so it’s good to know you can use whatever you have on hand. Apparently some recipes call for Parmesan or another hard cheese. Advice I read on storage said to skip the cheese in the recipe and add it at the time you serve so that if you freeze it later, the cheese won’t turn out funny when you thaw it out. I find frozen cheese to be quite crumbly, but the flavour is unaffected, so not sure what the issue there is, but I didn’t add it to this batch.
Here is how my recipe ended up:
Marilynn’s Purslane Pesto
2 1/2 cups purslane
1/2 cup nuts, chopped and roasted
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from half a lemon, or a couple tablespoons of lemon concentrate
1 tsp. honey
sea salt and pepper to taste
Add heaping spice spoon (roughly 2 tspns or so) of garlic and two (roughly 1 – 2 tspn) of crushed, dried basil
Chop the purslane into 1″ pieces or smaller and add to blender
Add nuts to blender.
Squeeze half a lemon or add lemon concentrate to blender.
Add olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and garlic to blender.
Pulse to begin with, then switch to the first blend button.
Pause every now and then, take a spatula, and push down any unblended food from the sides of the blender.
Mix well until fully combined with almost a smooth texture.