Purslane is grown as an ornamental flower in gardens. It produces an abundance of small, multi-colored blooms that add color to beds and borders. Purslane is also edible and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, adding to its usefulness in the garden. The stems and leaves are used similar to lettuce or spinach in salads or cooked dishes, and the greens can also be preserved for later use by pickling them for long-term storage.
Pick purslane when the leaves are green, either right before flowering or when flowers are in the height of bloom. Leaves that are picked after the flowers go to seed will be bitter.
Rinse the purslane in cool water to remove dirt and debris. Cut the leaves and stems into 1-inch pieces with a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
Fill a pint- or quart-size canning jar with the prepared purslane. Leave 1 inch of space between the top of the purslane and the rim of the jar.
Peel and slice three garlic cloves and add them to the jar along with 10 whole peppercorns. Fill the jar to the rim with apple cider vinegar.
Place a new canning lid on top the jar then screw the canning lid ring on tightly. Place in the refrigerator and allow the purslane to pickle in the cider mixture for at least two weeks before using.