Purslane grows as both a weed-like wildflower and is also cultivated in some home gardens as an ornamental bedding plant. Wild purslane often has small yellow flowers, with cultivated versions blooming in a range of colors. Purslane is rich in omega-3 and vitamins A and C. Purslane is prepared the same as spinach in many dishes, for use either raw or cooked. The entire plant is edible, although the stems and leaves are the parts most often used.
Cut off the leaves of the purslane plant, or remove both leaves and stems if desired. If just the leaves are removed the purslane will continue to grow back and produce throughout the summer.
Rinse the purslane in cold water, removing any dirt or debris on the plant. Cut off and dispose of any discolored or bruised parts.
Use the leaves whole in salads. Alternatively, chop the leaves and stems into small, 1-inch long pieces and use them in salads or soups.
Prepare purslane as you would spinach. Place cleaned and prepared purslane in a pot and add enough water to cover. Add a ¼ tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn off heat once the water begins boiling, drain, and serve plain or seasoned as desired.
Wrap unused portions of fresh purslane in a dry paper towel. Store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before using.
Prepare purslane for longer storage by placing it in a canning jar and pickling it. Fill a jar with purslane and apple cider vinegar and place the lid on it. Store in the refrigerator for up to six months.