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“Purslane Salad”

I have a thing for purslane. I think I inherited it from my grandmother. She is just obsessed with it. Whenever I visit she says, “have you seen any purslane in the garden?”

 

It is such an intriguing plant, purslane. For one, it is everywhere, in many countries, from the sidewalk cracks in the cities, to your vegetable garden, likely where you don’t want it to be. It is so hearty and can withstand most circumstances. The leaves are fleshy, a little salty, a little sour, a kind of built in “vinaigrette” flavor, requiring little else to make it into a salad.

But what my grandmother likes about it most is its nutritional attributes. It has an extraordinary amount of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is normally found in fish and flax seeds. It also contains vitamin A, C, B, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. It also has something called “alkaloid pigments” which is indicated by its reddish stems and yellow flowers. These are potent antioxidants.

Here is what purslane looks like in one of its chosen environments: a gravel parking lot.

See? It’s perfectly content where no other plant is.

And here! In the black weed preventing strip in my garden where the vegetables are supposed to grow without competition from weeds.

Clearly the purslane didn’t get the memo.

And even in the driest conditions… purslane perseveres.

If you see it, pick it. It makes a wonderful salad. I ran to the garden last night and whipped this up for dinner and it was so very tasty.

I had made a simple purslane salad a few summers ago, but this one I wanted to doctor up a bit more. I was feeling colorful. And there were some fresh eggs from the chicken coop that needed tasting.

This was the cast of characters: corn kernels (fresh or cooked), thinly sliced red onion, hard boiled egg, diced tomato, and a heaping pile of purslane leaves, washed.

You can also eat the purslane leaves and flowers if you so desire. They are for the slightly more adventurous crowd, and my dinner table companions weren’t perhaps ready for that. But the leaves have a wonderful tangy flavor. Which means you don’t even need vinegar.

Dice some tomatoes into small pieces. Some colorful heirloom tomatoes would be nice here as well.

Thinly slice some red onion. White onion would also be tasty. In fact, that is what I use for my other purslane recipe.

Cut some fresh corn off of the cob. I prefer my corn raw, something else I inherited from Grandma Pellegrini. She gave me a whole speech yesterday about how she used to go pick up a bag of corn from the farm stand, then shuck a piece and eat it raw on her drive home.

Some things never leave the DNA.

Hard boiled egg makes this salad for me. I just love hard boiled egg in my salads. This one has an especially bright orange yolk which looked pretty in the dish.

See? Bright and colorful.

Add a little sea salt. This will help release the juices of the tomato and will add to the “dressing” of the salad.

Also add a little freshly ground pepper for some spice.

Then, to give it a third dimension I added some nutty oil. You can use your favorite finishing oil, including a high quality extra virgin olive oil. All you need is a touch.

Give it a nice stir so that the flavors meld together…

And there you have it! If you come across some purslane (it’s in almost every farmers market now) give this a try. There are so many wonderful variations you could dream up.

Here is my other, simpler Purslane Salad Recipe.

“Purslane Salad”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

“Purslane Salad”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups purslane leaves, picked from the stem
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, raw or cooked
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil (or other favorite finishing oil)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to mix.
  2. Drizzle in the hazelnut oil and toss again to distribute. Serve!
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/07/19/recipes/purslane-salad/

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Comments

  1. Look at that feisty green. LOVE that it thrives everywhere. Dang that grandma P has great taste…as do you. Need to go out and forage the sidewalk now!!

  2. I’ve pulled this weed so many times and had no idea! Next time, I’ll bring a bowl and make your salad after an afternoon of yard work. :)

  3. This post is just beautiful. So many gorgeous natural colors. The recipe looks terrific too. I love purslane, but I don’t have a garden and often forget about it. I bet the farmer’s markets have it now though. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I had no clue!!……..I probably have this all over the place!! lol thanks for the insight and recipe Georgia!

  5. I had no idea that you could eat that! I have some in my garden right now, I just thought it was pretty!!
    You so smart ;)

  6. I am feeling a little silly that I have never even heard of purslane! I wonder if it grows in my region? I will have to start looking at the nooks and cranny’s of my garden more carefully! Thanks for the info- it clearly makes a beautiful salad!

  7. Wow. I just love the colors in this salad. Yum!

  8. You know I love this!

  9. Beautiful summer salad!

  10. Beautiful summer salad!

  11. I’ve never heard of purslane before but I can’t wait to go explore my yard. We live in the downtown area of our little city which means no homeowner’s associations…which means a nice variety of plants grow in our yards. I bet there’s gonna be some purslane here. I can’t wait to get some of those wholesome omega-3s!!! What an interesting grandmother you have. How wonderful that she gives you so much wonderful nutritional advice!

  12. I grow purslane…like…on purpose, from seed. Wish it was a weed around here, it’s darn tasty, and an appreciated heat-loving green thing for salads.

  13. Wow, this looks so good, I love strong tangy flavors, so I know I would love this. I’ll have to be on the lookout.

  14. Ha! I always thought it was a weed. Now I know to be excited when I find it growing everywhere. You learn something new everyday. :)

  15. Who knew! I’m checking my garden tomorrow : )

  16. Ever since I read this post I’ve been a purslane fanatic! Believe it or not, I found some (finally) in the parking lot at Whole Foods!! Using the assumption that they probably think it’s a weed, I did a nice little thing and pulled that purslane from their sidewalk…roots and all. I quickly transplanted that little weed into my yard and I’m happy to report that I have a nice supply of Omega 3s growing in my own yard. By the way, I believe Dr. Oz recently included purslane as a super food or something like that. You’ve started a trend!

    • That’s so cool Marly! That makes me so happy to hear that. I think it’s so hilarious and awesome that you found it in the parking lot of Whole Foods of all places. I’m thrilled you transplanted it too and it’s growing. I love the tangyness of it in a salad so much.

  17. Linda Hirst says:

    I also love boiled eggs in a salad. Purslane grows all around where I live, so I’ll try it. It would be great if we could also find a use for wild morning glory! Oh well, guess I’ll dream on.

  18. I simply adored this story of your grandmother and her wise ways and the photos jump off the screen with all those crisp and colorful ingredients. Time to transplants some of these precious weeds from my clients front yard into one of my vegetable beds.

  19. Georgia says:

    I see it at the farmers market all the time for sale!