A very special friend of mine, let me know this particular veggie.
It’s called also vine or Malabar spinach and it’s different from common spinach, Spinacea oleracea, especially for its mucillaginous and glossy leaves.
It’s a perennial Asian vegetable commonly grown in pots as annual or biannual herb by home gardeners for its nutritional values.
It grows in well dreined soil but fertile, thanks to trellisings, and it is propagated either by seeds and cuttings.
Two are the main cultivar: Basella alba with grenn stems and green leaves, and Basella rubra whit stems and leaves of purlpe color.
We can eat leaves and stem row or cooked, and berries are used in pastry as pigment.
Many are recipes bound to the traditional cooking of its origin countries:to prepare saag in India and Bangladesh (pui shaak) with lentils or seafood; in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and Sri Lanka leaves and stem are used ingredients to prepare curries, stews, soups, rice, bread (roti) and noodles.
For health: it’s an excellent source of iron, B-complex vitamins, potassium , manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin C, vitamin-A, mucilage helps in digestion, prevent osteoporosis, protect from cardiovascular diseases and cancers of colon, but contains oxalic acid that can contribute to produce oxalate stone.
The plant in photos is the one of my friend Serena.