The bane of many gardeners, purslane is a hearty weed that is delicious both raw and cooked. In the States, it now turns up at farmers' markets in summer months. It's characterized by its red stems and slightly succulent green leaves that have a tangy flavor.
Delicious, Quick Side Dishes
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 pound purslane or arugula, torn
1 large cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into half-moons
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped mint
How to Make It
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and let cool.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt. Break the potato slices into quarters and spread on the bottom of a large, shallow bowl. Season with salt and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Layer the tomatoes over the potatoes, followed by the purslane, cucumber, onion, jalapeño, parsley and mint. Just before serving, pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss well.
Purslane is a pesky weed to some and a tasty, unusual, tangy green to others. If you can't find purslane, substitute watercress.
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