Cooking with EL CHAVO! : Verdolagas

I suppose going out for another gigantic moon of greasy, bready Costco pizza is an option for tonight’s dinner, but you’ve already done that, so-many-times. Don’t you think maybe it’s time to figure out how to feed yourself, with real food? Like with stuff from the food market instead? I do. So here goes another one of my crappy recipes, an easy and quick one that anyone can follow, and it turns out quite nicely as well.

I know more than a few people that claim they can’t cook and act like it’s okay to subsist on eating out. Well, it ain’t. You need to get your act together and learn some basics in life, don’t assume you’ll always have that drive-thru available at all hours. Do you really want to pass the rest of your years subsisting on frozen dishes from Trader Joe’s, just because it’s easy? All those years of culinary and cultural history passed down thru so many relatives and you decide to squander it for some microwave delight, que lastima. And don’t blame it on your mom for your lack of paying attention in the kitchen, I learned how to put some simple dishes together on my own, in my teens, cuz I was tired of having to eat more boiled Lengua when I’d already told my mom I was a good-for-nothing vegetarian. To show you that anyone can learn to cook something new, follow along as I prepare a simple meal with verdolagas (aka purslane) which I never tried until just a few weeks ago.

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63 Responses to Cooking with EL CHAVO! : Verdolagas

  1. Ron Kovatch says:

    I am eager to try the verdolagas. I live in Tucson and my neighborhood group is going on a walk tomorrow to see what grows in the arroyos and yards that we can eat. Verdolagas is on our list among nopales and tunas.
    I like everything about your website as we think similarly about hand painted signage, political and social issues, etc. Keep up the good work.

  2. And you don’t even need to buy them! Come to my garden and pick them for free!

  3. Rios says:

    THANK YOU Mucho Gracias. I told my wife about them (wear-ra). My grandmother would make my dad stop the car, after driving around after Mass, when she would spot them growing in an irrigation ditch. She would make it as a soup. Adding a can of evaporated milk and longhorn cheese instead of the queso fresco. I recall it tasting like potato soup. I knew it was regarded as a weed, but after having it once, I was eager to help grandma pull them out of the ditches. My wife will go crazy trying to find, and plant some, now that she knows to look for purslane.

  4. lisa says:

    El Chavo! You’re da boss. I bought a lot of verdolaga at my neighborhood’s farmer’s market this morning, two big, fat bunches for $5. Buy only one, pay $3. So…I wanted to save one dollar. Huh? Didn’t know what it was but since I love watercress and it looks like it, why not try? I made up my own recipe. SautĂ©ed onion and large garlic chunks in olive oil, little bit of butter, salt, fresh pepper – then tossed in verdolaga which was cut up into two inch bits. – After a little taste, thought it needed a little sweetness- added splash of mirin. Ate together with boiled potatoes. Potatoes from the farmer, too. $1 a pound. So good. Vergolaga reminds me of nopales, too. Great suggestion about the book, will look it up. Thank you. I still have a lot of fresh greens left, so will try your recipe, too. My lunch cost $1.50 – you have a good site going, keep it up!

  5. ann says:

    These grow in my garden, all by themselves. Thanks for the good recipe!!!

  6. Mary Ross Varela says:

    Great recipe for these wonderful greens. Had them as a child in my grandma’s kitchen with bits of pork, tomato, and the verdolagas, onion, garlic, and love. In a tortilla it was heaven. About once or twice a year ( when abundant) she refried beans with a creamy white cheese and steamed the Greens on top, storing in when softened. So very tasty, and as I see HEALTHY, and cheap. Love your stuff.. Thanks.

  7. francesca says:

    My mom made these with cooked pork meat. Yes they do grow everywhere. I see people stepping on them and I yell Dont step on the verdolagas and they look at me like im crazy.

  8. Edna J. says:

    Hola Chavo!

    Thanks for taking the time to show us how to make verdolagas. I’ve always loved them, but ever since my mom moved away, I’ve longed for them incessantly. I yearned for the purslane that Thoreau raved about in Walden Pond. I can only imagine what he would’ve written had he had verdolaga tacos!

    I read somewhere that verdolagas, just like salmon and flax seed, have Omega 3. Good news for vegetarians 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Martin H. Slusser says:

    We had these in the corn all the time. We ate some, but Dad used to let the pigs in to root it out. then, turnips and beans in the corn. We call it si basil (sigh bay-sill), and it means sow stomach. Those pigs loved it, and we loved those pigs, especially in the smokehouse and on the stove. Happy New Year, El Chavo!

  10. yamina says:

    merci pour cette delicieuse recette.
    en algerie nous consommons le pourpier sous differentes formes et votre recette est un plus pour moi

  11. Abe C Torres says:

    I grew up on this food , aside from being delicious it maintains your skin tighter and younger looking, I’M 55 and look 35 …or so everyone tells me or seemed shocked when I
    tell them my age…been eating verdolagas con huevo, verdolagas con carne since I could chew food.

  12. your post came up when I googled “verdolagas” == thanks for sharing so much great info! i appreciate your perspective on things, too. My sis is growing tomatillos and I hope to scrounge some verdolagas when those are ready so I can make your recipe – sounds very delicious!

  13. Chantelle Cheng says:

    I love verdolaga, and I love your writing style and attitude toward cooking. This post made my day.

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