Purslane & Mint Pesto Vermicelli Salad

vegan-pesto-vermicelli-salad-with-basil-mint-pesto

This cold noodle salad combines a lot of great flavors and textures to make the perfect summertime meal. It also includes my newly discovered friend, the purslane.

These beautiful and nutritious succulent plants are often weeded from folks’ gardens. Last week, as I was weeding my own garden, I came across this little plant that resembled a jade plant. I decided to let it go, as it simply was too beautiful to pull up from the ground. That exact same day, I was researching edible wild plants (one of my fave things to do), and wouldn’t you know it… the plant I left alone turned out to be something that should be in my garden!

Purslanes were apparently one of Ghandi’s favorite foods, and they are quickly becoming one of mine.

I had never heard of them prior to my recent discovery, but the purslane is actually a nutritional powerhouse! Now that I recognize the greatness of this little plant, I have been encouraging it to spread far and wide in my garden. It seems to prefer the company of my kales to any other veggie. Seriously, so would I …

I have never seen a purslane at the grocery store, unlike it’s edible weed friend, the dandelion. Like I said, I had no clue what it was before I almost weeded the poor thing. But, then again, I’m hardly a foodie. Feel free to substitute fresh green peas, spinach or arugula for the purslane. Those veggies aren’t quite as awesome as the humble purslane, but they’ll do.

 

Purslane & Mint Pesto Vermicelli Salad – Vegan & Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 3-4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (make sure its wheat free, if you need to)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ‘Sriracha’ hot sauce, and some more for drizzlin’
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 package (about 7 oz) vermicelli noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large yellow/red/orange bell pepper, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup purslane leaves, rinsed

Directions:

Cook, or soak vermicelli noodles according to package directions. Rinse noodles with cool water, drain and chill briefly in fridge.

Prepare sauce by combining basil, mint, nutritional yeast, soaked raw almonds, tamari, mirin, maple syrup, Sriracha, almond milk, and sesame oil into food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.

Toss pesto with vermicelli noodles and shredded cabbage. Add in bell peppers and purslane and then garnish with a little more Sriracha sauce.

Serve cold.

Directly below is a picture of the purslane. The stalk is thick, red and the leaves are smooth, shiny and succulent. It also has a clear sap when the stem is broken. Isn’t it beautiful?

purslane

It can easily be confused with a poisonous plant: the spotted spurge, pictured below.

Don’t eat that stuff!

In all actuality… the spottted spurge leaves are much smaller than the purslane’s leaves, it has spots, and it has a bright white sap when the stem is broken. You can sort of see the sap in the broken stem I am holding.

spotted-spurge

I repeat, DO NOT EAT THE SPOTTED SPURGE!

***This is by no means a field guide for edible plants. Please, please, please use common sense, and don’t eat anything if you are not positive that it is safe. In, fact, if you have no experience with the purslane, and no way to get in touch with someone who does… just use some peas in your salad. K? ***

On that note, have a Happy Weekend!

purslane-pesto-vegan-vermicelli-salad

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16 Responses to Purslane & Mint Pesto Vermicelli Salad

  1. Angelique says:

    I am thrilled to find a new recipe for purslane and might try serving a variation of this at my cafe! :)
    I too love its lemony flavor, crisp refreshing crunch, it being a unique leafy source of omegas, and it growing freely!
    Purslane rocks! Thanks for posting this recipe. I’m glad to have found your blog (via Oh She Glows)

  2. Geoff says:

    I got a bunch of purslane from my csa this week and didn’t know what to do with it until I found this recipe. I made it the other night and it was a big hit. Great website!

  3. Ricki says:

    I’ve heard of purslane but never seen or tried it. . . and of course now you’ve put the fear of spotted spurge in me and I wouldn’t dare try to identify it myself! But I’m sure the salad will still be marvelous with peas. ;)

  4. Purslane is sooo tasty! Sadly, I find it hard to come by. There were two weeks last summer when I could buy it at the local farmers market but since then, no luck. This sounds like a great recipe for it. I like to eat it solo, never got to the point of thinking about fancy ways to feature it in a dish.

  5. Rose says:

    The salad sounds wonderful…cool info about purslane…I hope to try some someday…when I can find some positively ID’d as such :)

  6. Jenny says:

    That’s so pretty!

  7. Claryn says:

    I love when people post recipes involving wild edibles! I, too, love learning about them. And that first photo is gorgeous! Anyone picking purslane (or anything else) from lawns should also make sure it hasn’t been mowed with a gas mower.

  8. Morgan says:

    I love pesto! Its one of my favortie things! This looks delicious

  9. Paige Newman says:

    Beautiful colors!

  10. I just love how nutritionally beneficial purslane is. I haven’t thought of it in a long time, thanks for the reminder! Beautiful pictures too!

    Love,
    Wholesome Chow

  11. Jennifer says:

    Fresh summertime yumminess! This looks wonderful.

  12. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by glueandglitter and Eat Drink Better, Allyson Kramer. Allyson Kramer said: Purslane anyone? So good with vermicelli noodles…. :) http://www.manifestvegan.com/2010/06/purslane-mint-pesto-vermicelli-salad/ [...]

  13. Becky says:

    Ooh that looks so good! I need to check our yard for Purslane for sure!