Recipe for Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane
Although I had always considered it to be an obnoxious weed, I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste of purslane, which to me was slightly reminiscent of the flavor of other greens like spinach or chard. When I did more research on the plant, I discovered the popularity of purslane in recent years is partly due to the fact that it contains more omega 3 fatty acids than any other leafy plant food. Something that tastes fresh and savory, grows like a weed, and is very nutritious! How great is that!
The salad I made with the purslane from my garden is a variation of the salad sometimes called Salad Shirazi. My version was adapted quite a bit from the recipe I found on Epicurious.com. I left out the onions because I wanted to be sure to taste the purslane, and added a bit of mayo to the dressing for a creamier blend. I thought this salad tasted fresh and healthy, and the flavor of the purslane went well with the mint and parsley that makes this type of salad so lively. I can tell purslane is something I’ll be adding to a lot more salads from now on.
Weekend Herb Blogging is all about interesting herbs or plants, so this seems like a perfect entry. This week the host is Christa of Calendula and Concrete.
3 large tomatoes, diced, salted, and drained
1 large cucumber, diced small
2 cups chopped purslane
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
zest of one lemon
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T mayo or plain yogurt
Dice tomatoes in 1/2 inch pieces, place in colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain while you prepare other ingredients. Chop cucumber in 1/4 inch pieces and place in large bowl. Trim purslane, discarding roots and large stems and keeping tender stems with attached leaves. Wash well in salad spinner, rinsing several times. Chop coarsely so pieces are about an inch long. Add purslane to cucumbers. Wash mint and parsley, spin dry, chop finely with chef’s knife or food processor, and add to cucumbers and purslane.
Zest lemon and squeeze juice into small bowl. Add mayonnaise or yogurt to lemon juice and whisk until well combined. Keep whisking as you add olive oil, about half a tablespoon at a time, until all oil is combined with other ingredients.