Posted (Lori) in News

WO TIMLY PESTOS: Purslane and garlicscape

From Mike:


Here’s a recipe for garlic scape risotto i made last night that both my wife and I really enjoyed. I’ve really enjoyed trying out new recipes with the CSA veggies but most things i’ve been making are from Bon Appetit or similar sources. This one i mostly threw together myself.

When we received scapes earlier in the summer I made a pesto. I LOVE pesto. I grow basil on our balcony and I make pesto almost once a week. However, I found the scape pesto just okay. I had a similar reaction to ramp pesto. Maybe I’m just a purist. I thought the scapes were a little tough to be eaten completely raw, even when chopped up for the pesto, so this week i incorporated them into a fairly basic risotto recipe and the outcome was amazing. The texture was perfect and I think sautéing the risotto in the oil that had been flavored by the scapes is what really made this dish pop.

1 cup Risotto Rice (Arborio or whatever)

2 Sausages (I used sweet Italian but I think anything would do)

~1/2 cup of scapes. I used all seven that in last week’s pick up

~1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1T unsalted butter

1T olive oil

4 cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1) Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan at medium/high. Add the scapes and cook for ~5 minutes, stirring often. Don’t let them brown.

2) Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. You can throw on a dash of salt if you like saltier food or if you’re using a low sodium broth.

3) Add the wine to the pan. Let it cook off while stirring. If you’re at the right temperature this will happen quickly.

4) Add ~1/2 cup of broth. Let that cook down and add another. Stir often. Keep adding the broth about a 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is done to your liking. I find that 4 cups of broth and a 1/2 cup of wine are about the perfect amount for a cup of rice.

5) After adding the first 1/2 cup of broth cook the sausage.  Cut the sausages out of their casing and break up the meat. Fry them in a non stick at medium high heat. No need to add more oil or butter. When they are finished drain them to remove excess oil and set the meat aside until the rice is done.

6) When the rice is done to your liking, approximate 30-40 minutes from the start, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese and sausage.

Serve with additional cheese if desired


Wanted to share a good recipe!


Very versatile – I used cashews instead of walnut since that is what I had on hand. I also threw in some garlicscape

FROM: http://old.lostrecipesfound.com/recipe/purslane-pesto/

My dad’s a very frugal man. Back when we were little, nothing grew in our little strip of city side-yard but zinnias and lilies—except for this one, vine-y weed. It had succulent green leaves & wiggly, moss-rose-looking pinky-red stems and positively flourished. Dad looked it up and told us it was called Portulaca (portulaca oleracea) a wild-growing edible found in North America as far back as 1430 AD, also known as purslane, verdolaga, pigweed, or—my personal favorite: little hogweed. Dad promptly stopped treating purslane as a weed, and started eating it all sorts of ways, simply because it was edible and it was free. The rest of us did not.

Fast forward 30 years. I’m at a high-end tasting dinner with a bunch of food writers at “The Traveling Chef” Christopher Mangless’ Three Three Five dining studio in Green Bay, WI. Somewhere about small plate 18 or so, there appears this very familiar green. It tastes lemon-tart, and the leaves are, in fact, succulent. Purslane! Planning to tell my dad “…you’ll never guess what I just ate at a fancy restaurant,” I did a little research first and, Wow!

`Turns out this wild thing is fantastically good for you. Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable.  A half-cup raw has 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid—that’s five times more than spinach! (A re-boot on why we need Omega-3’s? According to Washington, D.C.’s Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Omega-3s are  “essential for normal growth and development and may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and cancer.”)

Lets tally that up: Grows like a weed…tastes delicious… is incredibly good for you. Hmmm… Instead of weeding purslane, maybe you should harvest a few handfuls and try this pesto shared with me by Chef Travis Bensink of Heirloom Restaurant at the Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua New York. It has a nice tart, grassy taste and the inclusion of walnuts instead of pine nuts boosts the alpha-linolenic acid content even more. Travis likes to serve it with fish (Arctic Char or halibut.) But it tastes good with just about anything. (….just ask my Dad.)

Makes enough for 6 to 8 servings

Purslane Pesto Ingredients

1 lb purslane, cleaned and most of the stems removed (NOTE: leave a few tender pieces of stem in–they’re high in Vitamin C. Save the rest for snipping in to a truly Greek salad with tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, feta cheese and olive oil.)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

3/4 cup good-quality parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 toasted walnuts, chopped

Make pesto: Combine all ingredients, except the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until incorporated. In a slow stream, add olive oil and continue to pulse.

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