native to: India and Iran
in season here: summer

Also called pigweed, verdolago, or little hopweed, Portulaca oleracea is often considered a weed around here — or at best, a readily available green mulch. It’s tolerant of both drought and poor soil. Leaves, smaller stems, and flower buds appear in many Asian and European cuisines, especially South Indian dishes. It can be eaten raw in salads, stir-fried, or curried. It is often compared to arugula or spinach and can be used similarly.

Purslane is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than some fish oils, making it popular among vegans. In fact, it’s generally considered to be the richest cultivated plant source of omega-3s, rivaled only by certain wild greens like molokhia and stamnagathi. It has plenty of vitamins A, C, E, and some Bs; its mineral offerings include iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It’s an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a particularly good source of alpha-linolenic acid, which has been linked to coronary health and general longevity. Along with amaranth, lamb’s quarters greens, watercress, and lettuce, purslane is one of the richest herbal sources of anti-depressant substances.

Purslane doesn’t keep very well, which may be why it’s so hard to find, especially for those who lack a good farmers’ market. It starts to lose nutrition as soon as it’s harvested, so the fresher you can eat it, the better. It spreads readily, making some gardeners reluctant to grow their own, but it can be grown in containers to help control it (just don’t let it go to seed). It also makes a good microgreen.

It should be noted that purslane is a source of oxalic acid and should be avoided or eaten with caution by those susceptible to calcium-oxalate kidney stones or urinary issues such as bladder stones, or with other oxalic acid concerns. Pregnant women are also commonly advised to avoid purslane, which promotes uterine contractions and can cause miscarriage.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for raw purslane
label-style nutrition information for cooked purslane
Health With Food
Natural Health Solutions

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Sweet & sour onions with golden raisins

1 lb. small red or white onions, trimmed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
small piece fresh hot pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. honey
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup golden raisins (sultanas)
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch onions 1 minute; drain, rinse under cold water, and slip off skins. Heat garlic and pepper in oil until oil is hot, about 2 minutes. Add onions and saute until lightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Add honey, cloves, and bay leaf. Reduce heat and cook gently 2 min. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 20 min. Remove cover and simmer until juices reduce to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Remove pepper and bay leaf and adjust seasonings.

Adapted from: From the farmers’ market : wonderful things to do with fresh-from-the-farm food with recipes and recollections from farm kitchens / Richard Sax with Sandra Gluck. Harper & Row, c1986.

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Peach pie for dinner!

Chicken and peach pie
2-3 lb. chicken (best with skin and bones, which add flavor, but a smaller amount of skinless/boneless chicken can be used)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, in 2-inch pieces
1 leek with a little green, in 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 whole cloves
5 medium peaches (1 1/2 lb), peeled*, pitted, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. cold water
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water (optional)
double pie crust for 9-10-inch pie pan

Rub the chicken all over with salt, pepper, and ginger. In a large pot, lightly brown chicken, onion, celery, and leek in oil over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Add stock and whole cloves; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 1/4 hours. Remove chicken, reserving cooking liquid and vegetables, and cool slightly. Remove and discard skin and bones; cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Mix meat with peaches, wine, garlic, ginger; cover and chill. Remove cloves from the cooking liquid and discard; puree liquid and vegetables. Chill (may quick-chill by freezing about 45 minutes) and skim off fat. Combine puree and cornstarch/water mixture, add to chicken, and stir until well-blended. Grease a 10 x 6 1/2 x 2-inch casserole or 9-10 x 2-inch round dish and line with 1/8 inch thick pie crust dough, leaving 1 1/2 inch overhang. Fill with chicken mixture. Top with second crust and seal with water. Pierce top and brush with egg if desired. Bake 30 min at 400F then lower oven to 350F and bake another 20 min. Allow to cool 10 min. before serving.

Adapted from: Cooking with fruit : the complete guide to using fruit throughout the meal, the day, the year / Rolce Redard Payne and Dorrit Speyer Senior. Wings Books, 1995.

*See following recipe for the easiest way to peel peaches.

If you bought extra peaches (and who wouldn’t be tempted?) how about drying them for later snacking:

Oven-dried peaches
Blanch peaches in boiling water for a few seconds and quickly remove to cold water; skins should slip off easily. Halve and remove pits; cut into smaller pieces if desired. Optionally, place in acidulated water to prevent discoloration. Arrange pieces cut-side down on a wire rack over a foil-lined baking tray; place in a 225F oven, leaving door slightly ajar. Dry 24-36 hrs for halves, 12-16 hrs for quarters, 8-12 hrs for smaller pieces, turning pieces halfway through drying.

Adapted from: Preserving fruit : 101 essential tips / Oded Schwartz. DK Pub., 1998.

More about peaches.

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What’s Happening at the Market Tomorrow

Here’s what you can expect at the Market this week, besides hot weather:

Blooming Artichoke…..the very best in herbs

Charm of Finches…..more of their delicious gluten-free sourdough bread

Fina’s Salsa…..if there is a better salsa in Thurston  County we don’t know what it would be

Gemstone Knobs…..new finials, lamps, and boxes

Johnson’s Berry Farm…..make your own smoothies from the freshest berries in town

Living Greens…..microgreens for a tasty summer salad on a hot evening

Lost Peacock Creamery…..the only market in town where you can get Thai Garlic Chevre

Nana Kathy’s…..the mixer has arrived; come see the wonders Kathy has waiting for you

P’zazz…..handcrafted jewelry for any occasion

RP Guerrero…..fresh produce from their farm to your table

RawkStar…..seriously good-tasting smoothies to beat the heat

Sassy Seafood…..the best tuna in the state and that ain’t no empty boast

SouthBay BBQ…..if you like grilled pork then you’ll love SouthBay

Starry Lane…..honey, honey products, fresh from the bee to your table

Stoney Plains…..everything you need for a tasty salad

Vue Farms…..Dahlias and Sunflowers to brighten up your home or office

Wishing Willow…..organic produce, when healthy is important for your family


What to do with favas

Pea Shoot Salad with Fava Beans
1 pound fava beans, shelled
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. pea shoots
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 avocado, sliced lengthwise (optional)

Blanch the fava beans in boiling water no more than two minutes; immediately cool in ice water. Remove the beans’ outer skin, either by popping the bean out with your fingers or by paring the shell away. Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar; season to taste. Toss pea shoots, radishes, and slivered almonds with the oil/vinegar mixture. Divide this salad mixture among as many as four plates; top with fava beans and avocado slices.

Adapted from food52.com (which must be based significantly south of us, since they seem to consider fava beans a spring vegetable).


Fava-Mint Pesto
2 cups cleaned fava beans (about 2 lb. before removing pods and shells)
2 Tbsp. almonds, roughly chopped
2 anchovy fillets in oil, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
6 Tbsp. lemon oil
1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1⁄4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, thinly sliced
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt to taste

Cook fava beans in boiling, salted water until bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water with a slotted spoon and let sit about a minute, until chilled. Drain and roughly chop. Pound the almonds, anchovies, and garlic in a mortar until evenly combined. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon oil. Add fava beans and mash into a coarse purée. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons lemon oil, cheese, mint, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Adapted from Saveur

More about fava beans

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What’s Happening Tomorrow at the Market?

Another great day is in store for all concerned tomorrow, July 26th, at the Tumwater Town Center Farmer’s Market.  Here’s what you can expect to find:

Bags and More…..shower bombs on close-out only $1.00

Charm of Finches…..Sourdough Teff bread for sale, gluten-free and delicious

Claddagh Cold Brew…..Nitro cold brew coffee and floats for the hot summer days

Fina’s Salsa…..the finest homemade salsa in Western Washington

Gemstone…..Spread the light!  Not only finials but lamps and new treasure boxes

Johnson’s Berries…..hot summer days and fresh berries; what could be better?

Living Greens…..spicy red mustard microgreens and Fenugreek microgreens

Lost Peacock Creamery…..the only market in town where you can find Tai Garlic Chevre and quail eggs

Nana Kathy’s Baked Goods…..the best chocolate chip cookies in town, straight from Kathy’s kitchen to your mouth

Rawk Star…..smoothies, smoothies, and more smoothies, healthy and delicious

RP Guerrero…..the freshest fruits on the planet, from one family to another, handpicked and delivered with love

Sassy Seafoods…..if you can find a better canned tuna you should buy it, but we know you can’t

Stoney Plains…..we plant them, harvest them, and bring them right to you, great produce, when healthy is important to your family

Starry Lanes Apiary…..bees make honey, we sell honey, we make honey products, and you win

Vue Farms…..The Dahlias are coming, The Dahlias are coming!

Wishing Willow Farms…..we are small but mighty, only the best produce will do for your family.

See you tomorrow? We sure hope so…corner of Israel Road and Capitol Way, 10-2

Two carrot recipes

Honey gingered carrots
6 carrots, cut into 2-inch slices
about 2 cups water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger root
grated zest of 1 orange, to taste
1 cup honey
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
salt, pepper to taste

In a saucepan, cover carrots with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 5 min. Drain. Melt butter over med.-low heat. Add ginger, orange peel, honey, vinegar, and carrots. Toss and heat through, about 1 min. Remove from heat, add mint, and season to taste. Serve hot.

Adapted from: Expressions of home cookbook / Pamela King, editor. Watertown, WI : SPS, [2000?]


Hot and Sour Carrots
1 lb. carrots, thinly sliced, boiled 5 minutes, drained
1/4 cup raisins
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Mix all ingredients except nuts in a quart baking dish. Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are glazed. Garnish with pine nuts or sliced almonds.

Adapted from the e-Newsletter World Wide Recipes.

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