Posts Tagged ‘Fleurs Gourmandes’

Seasonal Eats: Summer pasta with purslane from Fleurs Gourmande’s Roxane Robillard

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
Summer pasta with purslane (Photo: Roxane Robillard, Fleurs Gourmandes)

Summer pasta with purslane
(Photo: Roxane Robillard, Fleurs Gourmandes)

What’s purslane, you may ask? Or at least I did, when I heard about it for the first time a few weeks ago.

In North America, it tends to be looked upon as a weed, something unsightly to be pulled out by the roots. But in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, it’s considered a tasty, nourishing herb whose crisp leaves and lemony flavour can liven up a salad and complement a sauce, filling or soup. You can even pickle the stems.

Variously called pigweed, pourpier gras, or Portulaca oleracea, purslane is a nutritional overachiever, with the highest level of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant, say researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The same researchers report that purslane contains 10 to 20 times more melatonin (an antioxidant that may inhibit cancer) than any other fruit or vegetable tested. Nothing to turn your nose up at.

To learn more about purslane, visit the Food Literacy Center.

Here’s a simple way to prepare it, courtesy of Roxane Robillard, a horticulture and culinary consultant who works with people to help them find what they can safely eat from their own backyards.

About Roxane Robillard

Owner of Fleurs Gourmandes, and a member of Savour Ottawa, Robillard is a microprocessor who makes tisanes, jellies and pickles from edible plants that she forages, grows in her own garden or collects from her brother’s farm. Her products can be found at Cardamom and Cloves, Mariposa and other sources, and range from charred pepper jelly and cedar compote to sundried tomatoes, rhubarb ketchup and even pickled milkweed pods. “I don’t throw anything away – I transform it,” she says.

Summer Pasta

Makes 4 servings



Estimated prep time: about 10 min + time to cook pasta

2 c cooked pasta

½ c purslane (stems and leaves)

1 red pepper, julienne cut

1 orange pepper julienne cut

12 cherry tomatoes



¼  c vinegar, herbal or balsamic

¾  c olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper

2 tsp honey or maple syrup

2 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. In a bowl, combine cooked pasta (hot or cold), purslane leaves, peppers and cherry tomatoes.


  1. Add dressing and toss. Serve immediately, or if serving cold, refrigerate first.


Do you cook with wild edibles? Share your experiences.