Apricot/Peach and Purslane Salad

Purslane, also known as verdolagas, is an incredibly nutritious, tangy and crunchy, leafy green. It's high in omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals. It's also a weed that is fairly likely to be growing in your garden right now! It's abundant in June, but I find that in July it's usually fading after a solid month of long, hot days.

I originally made this salad with fresh apricots and queso fresco, but it's also great with peaches and blue cheese or feta later in the season. The Greek ladolemono dressing, with a one-to-one ratio of lemon juice and olive oil, complements the purslane's tangy flavor.

2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 fresh apricots or small peaches (or one big peach)
2 ounces queso fresco, feta, or blue cheese
1 pound purslane (large whole sprigs, preferably a few whole plants)
Oil for grilling

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Chop the apricots, crumble the queso fresco or blue cheese, and add them to the bowl. Wash the purslane very thoroughly, keeping it in big pieces for grilling (if you've pulled whole plants, keep the roots on – they're easier to handle that way). Dry it gently and rub or brush with oil. Grill over medium heat, turning several times, until the stems are soft and droopy. Using scissors, snip into 2-inch pieces over the bowl, discarding the roots. Toss with dressing and serve hot or cold. Serves 4 as a side.


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