Saturday, August 29, 2009

Purslane Salad (Semizotu Salatası)

Purslane is a wild, edible, succulent weed that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The nutritional richness of this vegetable was not known to me until recently, when I read an article about its nutritional facts. It tastes a little sour and kind of salty and with gooey substance inside its green leaves which are small and clustered around its pinkish stem. Purslane is perfect for culinary uses prior to blooming flowers. It is usually picked from gardens where it grows wild.

Since I was very little girl, purslane was always on the menu in the summers as a side dish, usually in the form of ‘cacık’, yogurt with purslane and garlic. Turkish cooks use purslane for salads, cacık, sauté (similar to spinach) and even soups. I have not had the chance to experiment with different recipes of purslane, however my two favorites are: purslane salad and cacık with purslane.

This purslane was purchased from the Greek farmer at the farmer’s market and this summer was the first time I came across purslane. I had never seen it in the States previously, although when I walk, I see some tiny purslanes coming out of cracks in the sidewalks! If I had a garden, I would be all set for purslane…

1 bunch purslane (about 3 ½ cups when chopped up)
2 green onions (sliced thinly)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 small green pepper or half of a long pepper (sliced thinly)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sumac
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar

Remove and discard the thick stems of the purslane. Choose and cut the fresher stems about an inch in length. If some of the purslane is blooming, remove that portion. Wash thoroughly and drain. Place in a salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, the green peppers, salt, sumac, cayenne, olive oil and vinegar. Toss and serve.

Purslane on Foodista

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Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

I don't think I've ever had purslane. The way you prepared is sounds delicious and kind of spicy.

I've been looking up information about the purple potatoes and found out that they are native to Peru. I really can't find much information about them.

Anonymous said...

Nihal! I am crazy about semizotou! I didnt know how to go about finding it I didnt know itsname in other languages..In turkey I couldnt get enough of it,I love it in salad and also cooked like spinach besides rice.Im even happier to disover its so healthy!Now I have to continue to see if I can find it here..thank you so much for this! :D Mia

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Reeni, this is the first time I am adding cayenne pepper on it to make it spicy, but it really turned out good. I hear that the purple potatoes are natural; I think I will give them a try!

Mia, I am surprised that you have not seen it in Israel. You may want to look around a little more, maybe in somebody's garden or something :) I am glad to share, as always.

Elra said...

Never had purslane, but I am pretty sure I'll grab one if I see this in my local market. Thanks for sharring.

Soma said...

I have never had purslane.. thanks for introducing this.

Anonymous said...

I also never had purslane and it sounds very intriguing. I would love to try it if I can find it!

Yasmeen said...

Sounds very healthy :D

Baron's Life said...

I have never had or heard of purslane...but I'm willing to try...thanks for the recipe chef

farida said...

This is a great summer salad! I love purslane a lot. In Azerbaijan, we pickle them. In fact, I just did yesterday:) Here, in California I buy purslane from Latin stores. They sell under their Spanish name "verdolaga"

lisaiscooking said...

The purslane I've had was very peppery which I liked. I'd love to grow some in my garden since it can withstand the heat.

Soma said...

Nihal, thanks for letting me know about the chicken & so glad that you liked it!

The mistakes you mentioned are no mistakes. the purpose of that chicken curry post was to give a general idea. all the ingredients can be adjusted to taste or left out:-) It would not make too much difference to use the ginger as marinade as it would be getting cooked anyway.. even for us every time we cook it is up to what we have at home that day & the mood:-) & every single time it could taste different... the procedure was to give a general idea for the curry.

Naan to very similar to any flat bread with yeast you make:-) at home we eat it with non yeasted flat breads (rotis or parathas) cooked on stove top or rice.

Elra said...

just want to let you know that I made kebab wrapped in eggplant, with different spices in it. But, using your technique to make the parcels. Thanks for the step by step technique, that's really help a lot.

Summer said...

This is my all time favorite greens!! i used it in all my salads...your recipe is wonderful.
i also make it into a salad with onions, sumac, olive oil and lemon juice then roll it in phyllo dough of course baked and served hot is the best thing..
Ramadan Mubarak to you and your loved ones.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Elra, it's not easily found, but if you do run into it, definitely grab some! It's really good and healthy. Also, it's wonderful that you tried the Islim kebabi. I am very interested in what types of spices you used. The spices add great flavors. I'll check out your site.

Soma, thanks for the info. I figured it would work anyway, but my curry took a yellowish color rather than a reddish color. Maybe from the turmeric. It was excellent anyway :)

5 Star Foodie, I hope you get to try it!

Yasmeen, yes indeed.

Berge, yeah it's not that common, I doubt that it can grow up in Canada since it grows in warm weather. Although you never know, it may be found in Asian stores or Mexican stores.

Farida, I'd never heard of pickled purslane. Very interesting and I'd love to try it. I did hear that it can be found in Latin stores, I guess I never looked for it :)

Lisa, I guess purslane can also be described as peppery. Since you grow so many herbs in your garden, purslane would also be perfect for the Texas heat :)

Summer, I never tried it in phyllo dough such as a stuffing with borek. Great idea! Thanks for your holiday wishes.

Souza said...

have to try this one
tks for all your receipies

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9895039531 seeandoh said...

I am really thankful to know about this plant Purslane. We have it here in Kerala and I will try this salad very soon.It is seen in the gardens and will be pesticide free. Here we get fruits and vegetables all laced with chemicals and pesticides. Purslane will be free it. Thank you very much. Visit my blog