I came across piles of purslane this weekend at the market. I quickly made one bowl of them into a simple salad with this Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette. I took the rest and used it in place of parsley in this version of Tabouli Salad. The lightly slippery leaves and bright almost lemon-like flavor worked very well in both cases.
The appeal of sorrel lies in its sour, lemon-y bite. Because of its intense flavor, many people use it more as an herb than as a green. In specialty markets where you can find it, it is most commonly sold in very small bunches as an herb. This is a problem for people like me who like to use it more as a green, cooking up larger piles of leaves as in this Sorrel Leek Soup, one of my favorites. That's why I look for the spring and summer green at farmers markets, although it's not always easy to find there either. It ends up not everyone is looking for quite that much sour in their greens and demand, according to farmers I've talked to, is not high in Northern California. How about where you are - are you finding sorrel at markets? Learn more About Sorrel here.
Full disclosure: Mississippi is one of the few states that I've never visited! Clearly this must be fixed just as soon as I can manage. In the meantime, let me know what you love about local eating in Mississippi to help create a fuller guide on this food-centric state!
Ramps - wild leeks that grow in the moist forests of spring - inspire intense enthusiasm among those who love them. I'm a fan because their delicate onion-y favor with a bit of a grassy edge makes them great for adding flavor, yet they are mild enough so you can really use a lot of them in a dish without overpowering it, as in this Asparagus Ramp Salad. Learn more About Ramps here.
The Loose Change Band in Erie, Pennsylvania has taken their love of ramps to a whole other level. Going beyond creating a tasty recipe or two and writing a whole song and producing a video. Check it out here.