Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Foraging Miner's Lettuce


While I've been more inspired this Spring, after having attended the Cooking Class at the Big Sur Foragers' Festival, I am still wary of foraging edibles unless I am absolutely certain of what it is. Maybe I need a pocket guide book for my area. In any case, I know what miners' lettuce is. So, when we came across a verdant patch during a Sunday morning hike, we paused for a nibble and plucked a small bag full of them for salad later that afternoon.

Miners' lettuce. Claytonia perfoliata. If you've never tried it, it's mild, pleasingly crunchy, and is so loaded with vitamins it  can stave off scurvy. The plant took its common name from Gold Rush miners who ate it to avoid a massive vitamin C deficiency.

Typically when I make a salad, I mix greens to create a variety of flavors and textures, but I prefer to eat miner’s lettuce alone. All it needs is a light coating of vinaigrette.

I whisked together a light mustard vinaigrette and added some freshly ground green peppercorns and a little fleur de sel for texture and crunch. The result is a tart, smooth, crunchy, and very Spring-tasting salad.

Miners' lettuce is also known as winter purslane (they’re both in the portulaca family). If you have ever eaten summer purslane, you can appreciate - and recognize - the succulent texture of this plant.

The best leaves flourish in the shade. Once picked, miners' lettuce leaves will last in a bag in the fridge for up to five days. Keep a damp paper towel in the bag to keep everything nice and fresh. I've included an affiliate link to the reusable produce bags that I use for miners' lettuce and other produce.


Do you forage? Have you ever had miners' lettuce?

2 comments:

  1. I don't know where you find all the hours in the day.....

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    Replies
    1. Haha, Wendy. My friends say that I have a condition!

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