The Radical Plate

“Every minute that you entertain yourself without paying some corporation to entertain you, you’re acting radically. If you grow even one plateful of your own food rather than buy it from the food corporations, you’re acting radically.” Wendell Barry

In Sustain…able I shared some of our less successful ventures with you, but this post is about victories, such as the day we began our harvest.

I cringed at the sight of Iowa’s decimated crops when I was there in July. Though I know the fields are rife with poison and genetic mutants I can’t help but root for the plants. I’m dazzled by the utter vitality the rises from the plains like heat waves off hot asphalt. But I am thrilled to report we have had an awesome season.
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Papalos y Verdalagas

I like to forage for papalos* and verdalagas because I can pick them on our land, which is not as much fun, but much more convenient than tacking up the ponies and trail riding for the afternoon.

Papalos fall into the category of things Soco considers weeds and claims she no longer eats, though I see her reach for them when we bring a bunch to share at family meals. Papalos are eaten as a condiment. They are kept in a jar of water on the table, like a vase of flowers. We munch the strong flavored, herbaceous leaves from the stem, with everything.

I am excited about this post because I can include a recipe  I consider a classic from the mesa de Mexicana’s. Finally, something we forage is widely available, and you can make this authentic Mexican dish at home.  Traditionally, verdalagas(purslane) are chopped, sautéed, and folded to scrambled eggs, or served in Salsa Verde con Puerco.

Pork, or fried Cheese in Salsa Verde

2 lbs. tomatillos
1 white onion
2 cloves garlic
2-4 Serrano chilies
½ chopped cilantro
Salt

Ideally, grill or broil vegetables until blackened, or boil tomatillos until soft but not falling apart, then blend with the rest of the raw ingredients

2 lbs pork, short ribs or pork chops with bone and fat
oil
1 lb. washed coarsely chopped purslane
Flour, salt and pepper

Sauté purslane on med heat in oil, remove when it is translucent or tender. Raise heat to medium high.

Mix salt and pepper in flour and dust pork shaking off excess, fry the pork until brown in batches. Remove meat and set aside.

Pour salsa into hot fat and fry for 3 mins, lower heat and add pork and purslane, simmer gently until pork is cooked through. If you are using cheese, use a cheese that holds together, like provolone, or Halloumi, and fry on both sides until browned, proceed in the same manner as the with the meat recipe.

Serve with refried black beans and corn tortillas

Probecho

*The only site I could find that was acurate was in spanish