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Delicious Greens, Free for Foraging

Updated: Mar 28




Look around the neighborhood right now for a seasonal treat: Miner's lettuce is a native groundcover that also happens to be edible and tasty. Also known as winter purslane, the plant has pairs of quarter-sized heart-shaped leaves that sprout up in shady areas in early spring. As more sun arrives, the lettuce adds green rosettes (actually two conjoined leaves) with tiny pink or white flowers in the center.


The plant is named for its history as a staple during the California Gold Rush, when it helped prevent scurvy. Before that, the Cahuilla people of Southern California called it "palsingat." The entire above-ground plant is edible and it's high in vitamin C.


The plant's leaves are best eaten raw in salads our sautéed like spinach. Here's a good-looking salad recipe if you need ideas of what to pair the greens with. Wash the lettuce first, of course.



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