Purslane Salads | How to Use Purslane in Salads

Purslane, Portulaca Oleracea, is an edible succulent plant that spreads vigorously. The leaves are crunchy with a tangy lemon-peppery flavour. It pops up in gardens here from December (early Summer) through to Autumn. It is prolific in my garden, so much so that I can pull the whole plants out when young, nip off the root and use the stem and leaves. For larger plants, stems are picked and leaves removed. You should always wash it really well as it is such a ground-hugging plant.

Pick them early in the day for best flavours. If I need to pick them later in the day, I will cover them in water for an hour or so until they perk up and lift their heads. Don’t soak any longer, they turn to mush (being a succulent).

In some parts of the world you can buy Purslane in green groceries but in Australia that is not the case. So you can forage alongside footpaths and in parks and green areas, but always be careful that it has not been sprayed. The best way is to purchase some seed, or gather it from flowering foraged plants, and grow in your own garden. Once you have planted it in your garden you will always have it. It grows best in warm to hot, dry climates.

It is used around the world, from Greece to Mexico, South Africa, India and Turkey. It is a nutritional medicine cabinet in a plant with remarkable amounts of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It is mainly used raw but is also cooked in some places, such as India.

We’ve put together some of our favourite salads using Purslane to inspire you. Be sure to let us know how you use it and which salads are your favourite. Don’t forget that you can use Purslane to replace other sour or lemony ingredients such as sorrel in salads and other dishes.

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Quinoa and Purslane Salad with Radish and Kalonji

Today’s salad could really be called a Garden Salad, because the radishes and the purslane come from my side garden. Both grew abundantly in our garden this year. It is a salad flavoured with citrus juice and kalonji seed adds crunch and a visual element. You could use black sesame seeds or poppy seeds if you prefer. Kalonji can be found at any Indian grocery store.

Similar recipes include How to Use Purslane in Salads, Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans, Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts, and Purslane Salad with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Quinoa Salads, Purslane Salads, and all of our Radish Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Black Barley and Purslane Salad

Black Barley with its inky taste makes beautiful salads, like this one I made from pantry and garden ingredients during the COVID-19 lockdown (2020). Black Barley mixed with some home-made peach chutney, soft oven dried tomatoes, purslane from the garden, and garden herbs. A little olive oil and the tiniest bit of something acid (taste first as purslane is a little sour) – lemon or lime, preserved lemon, or rice vinegar. You might not have peach chutney ;), but you can substitute with something sweet-tart like barberries or dried cranberries, or use sweet – raisins for example – with a little more acid in the dressing.

Similar recipes include How to Use Purslane in Salads, Warm Barley and Cannellini Beans Salad with Charred BroccoliniGhol Takatli Bhaji, and Quinoa and Purslane Salad.

Browse all of our Black Barley recipes, and our Purslane dishes too.

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Purslane Salad with Tomatoes

Purslane is that lemony tart succulent-leaved plant that is considered a weed. In fact, for many years, I hounded it from the gardens that I had the pleasure to work in. But, well hello!, the leaves are beautiful in salads and even in cooked dishes.

This is a very simple salad, but delightful. It features Purslane, whereas we usually just added it to other salad ingredients. It also makes a great substitute for rocket and sorrel in your salads, if you don’t have any of those ingredients at hand.

Similar recipes include Quinoa and Purslane Salad, Purslane Salad with Radish, Peas with Purslane and Mustard, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Purslane Salad

Our garden has a great Purslane patch, not planned but cultivated once we realised how precious these leaves are. Purslane, a native of India, now grows world wide thanks to the longevity of its seeds and the fact that a plant will spring from any small piece of an existing plant that might hit the ground.

Our plants, well watered, become quite luxurious, lifting its branches off the soil and showering us with both lovely tender leaves and, surprisingly, tiny seeds which are also edible. We don’t wash them away, but keep them to add to which ever dish we are making.

The easiest way to use Purslane, should you get your hands on some, is in a salad. Add the leaves to any salad that you are making, especially green salads, for a citrus, slightly sour tang. It will life your whole salad. It can also be used in place of watercress or with baby spinach in any salad.

Or make a salad from the leaves (rather than adding them to other salads), which is what we are doing today.

You can read more about Purslane here.

Similar recipes include Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, and Green Salad with Chickpeas and Feta.

Browse all of our Purslane recipes. Our many Salads are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Purslane Salad with Burrata

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.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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