Along the Grapevine

Mint and Purslane Pesto

25 Comments

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This post is inspired by a recent recipe posted by BubblyBEE in which she not only makes a delicious carrot greens pesto, but discusses many other ingredients that can be used besides the popular basil and pine nut variety. I have made the carrot version before, but overlooked the use of mint and purslane  (portulaca oleracea)- two ingredients I have in spades growing right near my back door.

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I usually follow a simple method for pesto – some herbs or greens, garlic, usually walnuts and olive oil. Cheese can be added when served, but if the pesto is not good without cheese, then it is not worth making, so my basic pest contains no cheese.

If you are not familiar with purslane, it is one of the gems of the weed world. It contains, among many other nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids which makes it a good addition to a vegetarian diet. For more information of food value, identification and what to do with it, check out this article.

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My only complaint with this weed is that I never have quite enough of it. I do see it everywhere, but often in public places like sidewalks and parking lots where hygiene is a concern. It does grow in bare spots in my lawn and gardens, but easily gets crowded out obscured by bushier plants. My attempts to cultivate it have not worked out too well. However, I do have a few patches, and will use every bit I can.

The entire plant is edible, even after it has started to flower. The stems can grow to be several inches long, and the entire stem, leaves and flowers can be used. it is crunchy and has a mild citrus flavour – perfect for salads and garnishes.

For my pesto I used 2 cups each of mint and purslane, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup olive oil. Process in a blender until a good consistency and it’s done! Serve it with pasta, on pizzas, crackers or in sandwiches.

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Linked to Fiesta Friday #85 hosted by Angie @ The Novice Gardener and co-hosted by Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Jenny @ Dragonfly Home Recipes.

Related posts: Gazpacho with purslane; Waldorf salad with purslane; Purslane and cabbage salad.

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

25 thoughts on “Mint and Purslane Pesto

  1. I love purslane! I’ve only tried the bigger leaves in salads so far so I’m excited to have this pesto recipe! Plus I have tons of mint! Btw, I also grow golden portulaca, a much bigger and more erect variety. Next year I’ll try to grow more of both.

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  2. Lovely… Yesterday only I was mentioning your blog to my Sister in law in California. She started along kombucha and sent me a set to start…I mentioned you that how I admired your foraged recipes and drinks that you make with natural fermentation. Will send her your blog link today 😀

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  3. I am not familiar with purslane, but I will have to look for it around my yard. I have tons of mint growing! This pesto sounds unique and delicious. I am always on the lookout for new pesto recipes, since my daughter loves pesto so much. Happy Fiesta Friday!

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    • Happy FF to you too Jenny. I hope you find some purslane. Of course, you should check that it is really purslane, but it looks like a small portulaca and has succulent leaves. There is another weed which is similar, hugs the ground a little more closely and has just ordinary flat leaves. No good for anything I know of. Good luck!

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  4. I have a bunch of purslane growing here and there – never thought to make pesto with it. What kind of mint did your use?

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    • I didn’t even notice the error. As for the mint, I grow several kinds, but there is only one that is rampant which is what I generally use and I believe it is spearmint. I have a huge plot of it plus a lot growing around my asparagus and whatnot. I think any mint would work fine.

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  5. I’ve never tried mint pesto but it looks absolutely amazing! I have a strawberry mint plant in my garden and this sounds like the perfect way to use it!

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  6. I’ve never heard of purslane before, but it looks really interesting! I love the idea of using mint for pesto as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  7. I receive purslane in my farm share!! I love that you made pesto with it! Great plan for next time…

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  8. I am such a big fan of making ‘pesto’ without basil & pine nut, and now I am going to keep an eye out for purslane as well. So weird I have never seen them around maybe because I have not looked hard enough 😛

    I learn something new every time I stop by your blog, and it’s awesome. 🙂 Thank youuuuuu, Hilda

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  9. You are amazing Hilda. This looks so delicious. I’ll start watching for purslane.
    I think of you, btw, every time I see the wild grapes growing on the grape vines along my walking path. I remember you said the grapes had been mostly wiped out in your neck of the woods. If you need to find grapes – I can lead you down my walking path….

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  10. Pardon my silence – have had some issues posting comments with the new site, but this looks fab, as always.

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