This is a herby salad with the tang of purslane, the bite of spinach, the crunch of nuts and the creaminess of burrata.
I have used Purslane, as we grow it exceptionally well in Summer. Rather than weed out all of this plant, I leave a little patch and water it well. It grows lusciously with long branches lifting up from the soil. It is easy to pick, and more important, easy to clean by rinsing a couple of times. The tart tang of purslane adds a lovely lift to salads. It is very easy to grow, and you may find it occasionally at your green grocers. You can always forage it, it is everywhere, but make sure it IS purslane and that it has not been sprayed.
I have to mention how lucky I am to have a green grocer owned by a Middle Eastern family. They stock the best Dill that I have ever seen. Very thankful. I need to mention that the inspiration for this recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More but we evolved the recipe over the years to use our common ingredients and make it egg-free. It is like a third cousin twice removed.
Similar recipes include Herby Salad with Radishes, Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, Every Meal some Simple Greens, Purslane Salad, Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad and Mustardy Peas with Purslane.
Purslane Salad with Burrata
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1½ Tblspn lemon juice
3½ Tblspn olive oil, plus extra to finish
15g dill leaves
20g basil leaves, torn
15g coriander leaves
50g purslane leaves
20g watercress, rocket, and/or baby spinach
1/2 ball of burrata
sea salt and white pepper
a few olives, sour grapes, barberries and/or capers, for garnish
for the seeds
1 Tblspn flaked almonds
1 Tblspn pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1 tspn sesame seeds
1 tspn dried coconut shreds
pinch nigella seeds
pinch flaked chilli
¼ tspn sea salt
¼ tspn olive oil
Start with the seeds. Put all the ingredients in a small pan and heat over medium heat, stirring all the time, until the sesame seeds and coconut take on some colour without burning. Remove from the heat, tip onto a bowl, and set aside to cool.
Heat a little oil in a small pan and add the garlic slices. Fry until crisp and remove from the pan to cool. Keep the oil for the salad dressing.
Slice the burrata on a plate (so that none of the interior creaminess is lost) and cut each piece into 2 or 3.
To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and white pepper.
Now assemble the salad. In a big bowl, gently toss together the herbs, greens and purslane, and mix gently with the dressing. Pile the leaves onto a platter, and scatter with some seeds, and some barberries or capers (if using). Carefully dot the salad with pieces of burrata. Drizzle a tiny amount of extra oil over the salad, sprinkle more seeds, the garlic slices, and any barberries, capers, sour grapes or olives (if using).
Serve at once.
recipe notes and alternatives
Rather than using barberries, dot the salad with pomegranate kernels.
The barberries and the sour grapes (available from Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries) add a delightful sweetness to the salad that balances the tartness of the purslane.