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. mooncrazy says:

    I’ve seen verdolagas at my local farmer’s market and had no idea how to fix it. I’m not sure I will but I love your frijoles refrito recipe so I could give this a try. I’d never thought of you method for tomatillos, good idea.

  2. Thanks for the recipe it looks like it be way better then moms sorry to say but I never really liked the way she made them, they were just like in a caldo concoction!. Thats coo you explained the background especially the English name its very interesting how you broke it down because this whole time I just associated them with “nothing to eat in the house when she made those” along with lentejas! lol I shall try it out !

  3. tin says:

    i love verdolagas, but i have trouble finding them. you know, that looks delicious, but it would also taste great if you add some nopales.

  4. Purslane!!! My parents have verdolagas (aka weeds haha) growing in the backyard and I always wondered what their english name was.

  5. Jessie says:

    That actually sounded yummy, and I’m not much of a veggie person.
    Although, I am more interested in what you are going to make with the squash blossoms in that last picture. Any hints?

  6. EL CHAVO says:

    Those blossoms turned into a quick and easy quesadilla de flor de calabaza. One of the many benefits of having some veggies growing in your yard.

  7. Ally says:

    This looks delish. Of course the only ingredients I can find here in London are the onion and garlic. Whole Foods has started to carry tomatillos at £2 for a small tin. I weep!

  8. cindylu says:

    I really need to try your recipes. I just gotta figure them out for one or two people.

  9. Bob says:

    I’ve seen verdolagas for many years at local grocers but never knew what to make of it. That being said, I think I will try your recipe with one change: substitute swiss chard for the verdolagas. The instant I saw the cooked verdolagas I thought of swiss chard. Then when you mentioned its earthy flavor I knew I was on the right track. I’ve grown swiss chard in my garden since I was a teen so I always have a lot of it available. Next I will make it again with the so-called purslane and then compare and contrast the results. Stay tuned!

  10. rolo says:

    wow, that looks so fkn good, ya me dio hambre

  11. artnoose says:

    Now I’m gonna be on the search for verdolagas in this town. Not living in California anymore = less access to a variety of veggies.

  12. pitbullgirl says:

    Where do you buy the “gourmet” El Dorado tortillas? Are they expensive? I have a hell of a time finding tortillas that aren’t filled with a bunch of unnecessary crap. Thanks!

  13. EL CHAVO! says:

    The Big Saver on 26th and Figueroa has them, or you can go straight to the factory at 2928 N. Main St in Lincoln Heights (near Griffin) and pay almost half the price!

  14. Julio says:

    I’m definitely going to start making some verdolagas (con nopales). I’ve also been mystified by them in the market. I thought it was maybe a type of watercress, which I’m indifferent to.

    Heh, I also started cooking when my mom kept making tacos de lengua and I was already on my way to vegetarianism. Of course I did learn nopales, lentejas, and how to cook frijoles from her (comida de pobre, as she calls it.)

  15. anna says:

    I have purslane growing wild all over my yard. (I live in Chicago) It grows in cracks on the sidewalk! I weed selectively, leaving the purslane and the milkweed (monarch butterflies need it) and over the years these two plants have popped up more and more around the yard. It is really a common weed around here. And if you are worried about it taking over your yard, don’t be; it is the easiest weed to pull up there is. Now I will try cooking some! thanks for the recipe!

  16. don quixote says:

    Great recipe Chavo, and I love finding fresh verdolagas (especially high in Omega 3 oil), all over my garden growing like a weed (I don’t know how it got there), especially after a rain during the night and the verdolagas are crisp and fresh.
    I’ll try your recipe manana.
    The traditional Mexicano recipe for verdolagas is with pork, but years ago a Mexicano I used to work in construction with showed my a good way to eat it fresh.
    He took a bunch of fresh verdolagas and put it in a hot flour tortilla with some slices of avocado, some slices of queso fresco, and one or two green onions. Then he dripped on some El Pato salsa and voila a tasty and fast burrrito de verduras.

  17. AZChica says:

    Your recipe takes me way back in the day when my grandma would make them. Poor man’s soup, it was soooo good. She’s in heaven now and I’ve been craving them for a long time. You’re right, most of us kids didn’t pay attention when our mom’s or abuelita’s were cooking. Your recipe is as close as I’ve found. THANK YOU! I’m gonna make it tonight for my family. I also remember her making them with pinto beans and cheese.

  18. pitbullgirl says:

    I made this last night (with potatoes and nutritional yeast instead of cheese) and it was so good. I have a lot of weeds in my yard but none are this kind, I’m going to have to plant some so this will be an even cheaper meal.

  19. Lisa says:

    My Greatgrannie used to pick verdolaga from around the train tracks when I was growing up in south chicago in the 70’s. She would make then in salsa verde, then pour it over scrambled eggs with some chunks of cheese floating around. I haven’t had them in years. I’m going to have to try some.

  20. SARYH says:

    I sepak a little english, but i can say:
    verdolagas are yummy.
    when i live in Zacatecas my mother give me verdolagas
    i have a nice memories…

  21. Ally says:

    Hey!!! The discovery of these recipes and this blog was AWESOME to me!! Especially since I´m from the U.S. and have been living in Mexico for a couple of years and have been learning how to cook Mexican! I didn´t know I was able to cook until I went to Mexico. I only cooked a few things while in the States but Nothing compared to what I cook Now, and I LOVE your cooking blogs here!! You need to post more recipes, El Chavo, they are Awesome, not Crappy! Especially this Verdolaga one! Before I found this I could only make Verdolagas with meats and in Caldos, but now I can do them without meat. Thanks so much, and Please post more recipes. Tengo mucho hambre, por favor! Gracias!!! Oh, and BTW, I researched on how healthy they are, also, so I´m more nuts for them because of that! Thanks! Later!

  22. George says:

    Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing it. I have quite a few areas to forage from that are loaded with purslane. I’m definitely going to try them the way you have… I can’t wait! Thanks again!

  23. Jackie says:

    i’ve heard of flor de calabaza being eaten…i just never knew how. Do you have a recipe for your version of “quesadilla de flor de calabaza?” I really liked the sound of the Verdolaga recipe, which i WILL try tonight bc my co-worker just gave me a ton of it. (we have a garden here at work and “purslane” grows like crazy–much to my benefit!) I haven’t had verdolagas in a few years. Next i’m going to Google some nutrition facts. 🙂

    Thanks for posting tu receta!

  24. Bonita says:

    i would like to see if some one could tell me how to cook verdolaga with beans i have never tasted verdolagas in my life but my husband ask me if I could one day fix hime verdolagas con frijol I smiled and said yes if i can get the info to do this thaks alot

  25. heliosmazmiguel says:

    Hola El Chavo,
    I now, live in Mexico and just bought a big bunch of berdolagas, that what they call it it here in Sinaloa… I asked a mama what the mexicain did with that berdolagas
    she told me we put the whole i n the pot when we cook the porc…
    The young girl at the cashier did not know the name of it … jajaja…

    Since i do not want to die stupid i bought the Berdolgas/verdolagas and rushed home to check the web and found your recipe…Thank yo! thank you!

    I also discovered Acelgas lately another fine verdura…

    Thanks for sharing… since I started eating well I lost 60 pounds…( went from 220 to 160 in almost one year… no effort just eliminating all the prepared food.
    and here in Mexico all these vegies are so good … and the litlle bugs … they are proteins too, so i you forget one or two … don’t worry just be happy…

    Vaya con dios mi amigo, El Chavo…
    miguel el frances.

  26. felisha says:

    I am looking for some other tradition Mexican recipes cooked vegan style?

  27. Edna says:

    Just found your site and I was looking for a receipe for verdolagas. I remember my mom cooking them with onions, cheese and milk. Do you have a similar one? Love your site…Thanks

  28. Lulu says:

    You might scoff, but I’m going to recommend a guiltless (low calorie) tortilla from Trader joe’s under the Sonoma brand (it’s made by La Tortilla Factory). They have them up here in Sacramento. I ate them cold with this dish and they go “okay” with verdolagas. The recipe itself was very good; I find myself checking out the purslane growing through the cracks on the pavement, assessing their edibility (is that a word? i guess so, no squiggly red line under it!).

  29. Maria says:

    Hi! love the recipe, I live in Utah it was hard to find some authentic mexican foods, but I found the Verdolagas in a Mexican market and the best part they sell for $.99 for 4 bunches. I cook them all the time. My families fav. Verdolagas con Huevo for breakfast. and in chile verde yumm=) thanks! I love the flor de calabasa quesadillas, my mom makes them sooo good, also quesadillas de epazote con quezo y rajas de chile.

  30. Beatriz says:

    Chanfles…thanks for sharing this recipe. Not long after reading your post, I started looking for verdolagas in our backyard. I knew my parents used to grow it, so the seeds must still be hanging around somewhere. Sure enough, I found some and started watering/tending to them. Now that I can replant the little black seeds and let them take over our yard. I don’t comment much, but I really love reading your blog posts.

  31. You can get it at SuperKing– –I’ve seen itthere at amazingly low prices, and wondered what it is. I’m going to try this recipe this week.

  32. Anthony says:

    I bought purslane today (in SW France) because the spinach season is over and the orache (tetragona) season hasn’t started. But I simply sautéed the chopped upper stalks and leaves with garlic, added some sheep’s cheese, and served with pasta (penne).

    Any vegetable can be used like this with pasta (some may be better for a whizz), especially coriander (cilantro in the Benighted States), rocket (urugula in the Benighted States) and even sorrel (it’s a bit bitter, so is improved by whizzing with hazelnuts or cashews, as well as sheep’s or goat’s cheese).

  33. Anita Ann says:

    I have these all over my yard. My mom told me that her mo used to cook them. So I have been looking for recipes. My kids will wash them and eat the raw.

  34. sara says:

    I used this recipe last year, but it was difficult to find tomatillos on a regular basis. So I got some salsa verde, heated it, and cooked the purslane right in the salsa. I think it was close to what you suggested, and whatever… it tasted really good. Thanks!

  35. Hi Chavo,
    I too am a Chicana and I totally understand (as I read in your Vegan menudo post) how we are made fun of when we try to take a traditional dish and make it healthier. Congratulations to you. As far as this recipe is concerned, I remember my Nana always making verdolagas, but they never appealed to me. They grew wild in our backyard. Now, I use verdolagas as part of my Vegan chile relleno stuffing. As far as TVP goes, I am trying to avoid using it as much as possible (to be quite honest, I think it’s only in the vegan chorizo I purchase at Trader Joe’s). I prefer to make my own meat substitutes with gluten, tofu or bulgar wheat. The possibilities are endless. I might make this recipe and use Vegan cream cheese. Thanks for sharing. It really looks delicious. I’ll post my version of vegan chorizo as soon as I am convinced I am happy with the outcome of my experiments!

  36. johnny says:

    this takes me back.
    mom would make it with red chili.
    I remember we went to one of those pick your own fruit farms in Palmdale and my mom and tia were going crazy picking Verdolagas instead of the peaches.
    The farmer came out to investigate and had a good laugh that they were weeding his field of peaches and let them have at it.
    thanks Chanfles

  37. Charlie says:

    I just made this (subbing tomatoes for the tomatillos) and it is INCREDIBLE!!

    I bought purslane yesterday not having the faintest clue how to cook it, and I am really grateful that you posted this recipe.

    Also, I used Daiya non-dairy cheese, and it worked perfectly!

  38. Diane Rubio says:

    GREAT, GREAT, GREAT ~ AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. EXCEPTIONAL BLOG!! I too have seen Verdolagas in Superior Market. They have always looked sooo appealing to me. Today when I saw them at 3 for $.96 I decided to ask another customer what they were. I bought some home and hit the internet and found your blog. BEAUTIFUL PAGE!!

  39. ECT says:

    I have been using Purslane for several years now. I first read about it in a gourmet magazine I had checked out from my local library. The magazine article stated that purslane was served at expensive restraunts in Paris. There was a picture of the purslane. And when I saw it, I said to myself, “That’s a weed I have growing in my garden!” So I went out and picked some and tried it in a salad. I thought it was pretty good, and I have been using it ever since. Today I wanted to find out if there were other ways to prepare purslane, other than raw in salad. I went on line to see what I could find and found your website. (When ever I need to know about anything now, I go on line to find the answer. Computers are great! ) Thank you for this new recipe.
    Some other weeds I use are Lambs Quarter, Sheep Sorel, Yarrow and Dandelion.
    By using them I get doublefold produce from my garden. My husband says he won’t eat weeds, but I think every plant was put here for a purpose.

  40. Angelica says:

    I just googled verdolagas and made the trip here from there…and what a trip it is. I’ve been on here like 30 mins cruising LH with you.
    Anyways, I’ve seen these in my local Cardenas ad but didn’t know what the hell to do with them. This dish looks damn delicioso!!! Makes me want to tell my boss I ain’t feelin’ so good and get outta here to make me some for lunch and take a siesta.
    So thanks for sharing!!!

  41. amk says:

    Yum! I ate purslane for the first time yesterday – sauteed w/ butter and garlic, then ate it in corn tortillas with some sour cream (that’s all I had). Even better than cheap at the store – I pulled mine as a weed out of my garden!

  42. Miguel says:

    El Chavo, we grow verdolagas in our backyard and not intentionally. We tried your recipe and enjoyed it very much. The tomatillos give it a wonderful tartness, while the queso binds the whole dish. This dish is ATM (a toda madre). Thank you very much. Looking forward to trying your other recipes.

  43. Nallely says:

    I’m from Monterrey Mexico and had never heard of verdolagas until this weekend at the farmer’s market in TN…the ol’farmer couldn’t believe I had never tried them. I bought a bunch and I’m so glad I came across this recipe, I can’t wait to try them this way! Gracias!

  44. Martha says:

    Verdolagas grew wild in our backyard when i was a child and was delighted when it began growing in my front yard where right now I have no grass. I water the plant every three days. I cook them the way my mother did (I’m 65+ now) by steaming until tender, as though it was spinach. Just add butter and salt when finished and it’s delicious!

  45. dolly wall says:

    I live in Az., this stuff grows wild everywhere. Noticed it growng wild at my husbands uncles ranch in S.D. Also can purchase plants at Home depot. It is very healthy.

  46. hazel says:

    this is great… I did it the first time just like that… noew I am going to add shrimp

  47. Becky says:

    Yum this looks delicious and I enjoyed reading the comments here. Not only do I have it as a weed in my allotment but I think it’s also sold in bunches in the Bangladeshi veg stalls.

  48. juanishi says:

    Great recipe. My Mom used to cook this for us when we were kids. One suggestion: use green onions, the entire green onion as these are more nutritional than the white variety and especially the green stalk.

  49. Rosa G. R. says:

    Chavo! Love the recipe and your writing style! Wish you health and success!

  50. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog on verdolagas. Someone showed me this and asked what is was growing in a garden. I saw it in the store and wondered how to prepare it. I will definitely pass the info on with other ideas on how to prepare it.

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