Everyone, meet Purslane . . .

Ever heard of purslane? Until last week I hadn’t. One of the fun things about getting a CSA boxevery week is discovering new vegetables (purple broccoli, purple carrots, orange beets, mystery greens . . .). Last week we received this little bunch of greens with a note and a recipe (!) inside the box.This, my friends, is purslane. A tender green with a slight peppery bite — perfect for salads. Coincidentally, my husband had just read an article that mentioned purslane as having the highest omega-3 content out off all the greens listed in the article. It even had four times more than the next green on the list. Way to go, purslane.

Sarah, a dear friend of mine, who lives down the street from me and also receives boxes from the same farm decided to try out the salad as well on a night she had company for dinner. This humble little salad received 6 thumbs up from all of us. (Oh, are we doing double thumbs? Then it’s 12. That’s a lot of thumbs.) Sarah will probably have this posted on her blog pretty soon so you’ll be able to read her experiences as well.

I’ve never seen purslane in the grocery store (sorry for posting a hard-to-find ingredient), so I think baby spinach or arugula would be a good substitute. Or you can plan ahead for next year and grow some of your own!


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Grilled Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Purslane


for the dressing:
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T finely chopped shallot or 1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 T olive oil (estimate)

for the salad:
4 medium-sized zucchini (about 2 lbs), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
12 oz purslane, thick stems removed (1 large or 2 small bunches)
a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan shavings (with a vegetable peeler) or shredded Parmesan (not the stuff in the green can)


Preheat grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat.

Prepare vegetables while grill is heating up. Brush zucchini slices with oil and lay on the heated grill. Cook, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes total, turning once, until dark grill marks form on each side and zucchini is tender. Transfer to a cutting board, cool slightly, then cut into 1/2-inch or so chunks.

For the dressing, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, Dijon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking until dressing thickens and becomes emulsified.

Toss zucchini with purslane, tomatoes, and dressing in a large salad bowl. Serve immediately.

Nat's Notes:
1. If you can't find purslane (highly likely...) then baby spinach or arugula would be a good substitute.

adapted from Rio de Parras Organics (our CSA)

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12 Responses to “Everyone, meet Purslane . . .”

  1. #
    Jenni — August 7, 2010 @ 12:53 am

    Very interesting. I keep thinking of getting those boxes, but I don't want all the extra tomatoes. I have plenty.

    Another good substitution for purslane would be nasturtium greens. They're also slightly peppery, and quite lovely.


  2. #
    Joanne — August 7, 2010 @ 3:49 am

    I always love being introduced to new veggies! Thanks so much for posting so much info about purslane. Now should i ever find it, I will definitely know what to do with it!


  3. #
    Christina — August 7, 2010 @ 4:12 am

    Funny thing here, purslane is a very persistant succulent weed. Everytime we'd hoe it out of the lettuce fields, the workers would collect it in plastic bags and take it home to eat. I thought it was strange until I read about it's ultra-high omega 3s. Maybe I'll give it a try. It's lurking in my garden near the watermelons and tomatoes.


  4. #
    tobiascooks! — August 7, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    Here in Greece the Purslane looks a bit different. I just wrote about if a few days ago. Check it out! http://www.tobiascooks.com/recipes/portulac-salad-purslane-pig-weed.html


  5. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — August 8, 2010 @ 6:30 am

    Jenni – Unless you're getting a lot from your garden, I think you'd really like these boxes. They do a good job of not giving you a ton of one kind of veg. The last few weeks we've gotten a small basket of cherry tomatoes and maybe 1 or 2 nice heirlooms. That's it.

    Christina – Purslane is a weed where you are?! How nice for you! Grab some and make a salad!


  6. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — August 8, 2010 @ 6:31 am

    Tobias – thanks for the link! I just checked it out. By the way… I've wanted to go to Greece for years. Ever since I spent a year or so in Austria and heard about the vacations they took there. It seems like a beautiful, relaxed place. Sigh…


  7. #
    Kathryn — August 8, 2010 @ 6:33 am

    Ah! I'm finally back from vacation and there are so many recipes I need to try out here, Natalie! I'm so excited!


  8. #
    Jodi — August 9, 2010 @ 5:02 am

    Very interesting post! My hubby was reading over my shoulder and thought the carrots looked yummy. Are they raw or steamed or whatever? Also, he wants to know what "that stuff" is on the plate with the carrots and purslane dish. Thanks! :)


  9. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — August 9, 2010 @ 5:09 am

    Jodi – Those carrots came in our CSA box. All I did was wash them, trim the greens and stick them on the plate with some . . . hummus. It's been a while since I've seen carrots with the greens still attached so I like leaving a little "handle" on them.


  10. #
    Sare — August 10, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

    I still haven't posted this….yikes, I better get one it (thanks for mentioning me, it's been a while since I've posted and I keep getting bad spam comments over there…really lame, but I have moderator on so at least no one else has to see them).
    Anyhow…I wish I could get my hands on some more of this stuff. Maybe we can find some seeds and start growing it! My mom looked for me at a few farmers' markets. AND I went to a health food store (with a small produce section) the dude didn't even know what purslane was. Sad…I am going to get me some seeds. And do my post


  11. #
    Adventures in Dressmakings — August 23, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    This sounds perfect! We got some purslane in our CSA this week and I had no idea what it was till I shared it on Instagram and asked!! We also got some zucchini so this sounds perfect for a side with dinner tonight! Thanks!


  12. Pingback: Perry's Plate: Progressively Paleo Recipes CSA Wednesdays: Zucchini & Summer Squash + Spicy Zucchini with Anchovies » Perry's Plate: Progressively Paleo Recipes

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