I’ve found miner’s lettuce for the past couple of weeks at the Saturday morning San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.   Miner’s lettuce is a green edible annual plant from the purslane family that is common in the Northern California area.   It grows wild and is found in sunny areas in the early spring, typically after periods of rain.

Miner’s lettuce is not only delicious and visually appealing, but it is very nutritious, as well. Miner’s lettuce is full of Vitamin C and was apparently prized by the California gold rush miners for this reason.  Thus, the name miner’s lettuce.


The miner’s lettuce plants have long shoots with round leaves on the end.  Tiny pinkish-white flowers grow out of the center of the leaves.  The leaves and flowers are edible and make a great addition to a salad.  The leaves taste a lot like spinach and are hardy enough that they can also stand up to being sauteed or used in a stir-fry.


I like to add miner’s lettuce to scrambled eggs.  I saute it quickly in olive oil or butter before adding the eggs and other ingredients, such as sundried tomatoes.  It is also a wonderful addition to soups, beans and risottos, as well as salads.

I found miner’s lettuce at Four Sisters Farm on the backside of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday morning.  They have 5 acres of land in Aromas, California, and specialize in certified organic specialty greens.  For more information, visit the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture’s (CUESA) website.

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