purslane 1

Purslane is a weed that grows abundantly in North America, as well as many other parts of the world. I first read about it being edible in Viana La Place’s Unplugged Kitchen – one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, because of La Place’s short anecdotes and memories of growing up in an Italian American family where she learned to treasure nourishing food prepared simply.

On the weekend I weeded my parents’ vegetable garden, and pulled up all the purslane growing between the carrot, beet, and lettuce seedlings that I planted earlier this spring. I’ve been eating the purslane all week long, chopped up into the massive raw salads that I eat at every meal now that the weather’s turned hot. I appreciate how nutritious this free food is.

purslane 2

vegan breakfast skillet

vegan breakfast skillet recipe

This is what I had for breakfast yesterday morning. I’ve been making a lot of one-dish skillet meals lately; I cook a base layer of root vegetables or other longer-cooking items, and top with tender things near the end of cooking. I’ve also been really fascinated by the long-ish infographics that I’ve seen on Pinterest lately, so I wanted to try my hand making my own. Fun.

I love cooked breakfasts, especially when it’s cooler out. (In the sweltering heat, I usually choose not to turn on the stove in my un-air-conditioned apartment.) This particular combination of flavours reminds me of Italian food – probably because of the tomatoes and the nutmeg.

I like to use coconut oil in my cooking, but you could use any oil you like. Frying the base layer first and then flipping it to cook the other side really adds to the complexity of the flavours. I also like to add a bit of channa masala spice before layering the greens and tomatoes. A few days ago I made a similar dish, only instead of potatoes I used half a sweet potato, one small beet, and a couple of slices of butternut squash. It smelled AMAZING as the sugars carmelized in the pan. I also tend to add a bunch of seeds for protein: sunflower, chia, hemp, pumpkin…