Meet purslane. It is a weed, but a good one. Purslane has succulent fleshy leaves and stems with a slightly acidic flavor, close to that of spinach and watercress. This leafy vegetable offers some neat health benefits; it features in itself Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B, as well as important dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. It can be fried, sauteed, pickled, and in its raw form it can be used to make this delicious salad from Turkey. Refreshing, piquant, and crisp. Worth trying.
Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing
Serves about 6
Note: In the US, you can find purslane in most Mexican/Persian/Asian and other ethnic markets under its Spanish name “verdolaga”. Many farmers markets carry it as well. I bought purslane you see in the picture from our local farmers market. Note that the amount of ingredients in the recipe are adjustable depending on how much purslane you are using. For best results, use young purslane.
Generous bunch fresh purslane
2 cups or more plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (adjust the amount to taste)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Paprika, for sprinkling
Snip off the stems of the purslane and discard. Chop the leafy parts into big pieces. Wash the leaves thoroughly. Drain and allow to dry (I arrange it on paper towels and gently pat dry to speed up the process).
For the dressing, in a bowl, combine the yogurt with garlic.
Add the purslane and gently stir to coat the purslane with the dressing. Season with salt to taste. Arrange the salad on a serving plate. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with paprika to taste. Serve immediately or chilled.