Monday, May 29, 2017

Purslane Salad (Glysterida Salad)

Last summer, when we were traveling, we encountered a plant growing here and there in cracks of sidewalks and in dry, rocky soil. Friends told us it was called "Glysterida" and very good to eat. They picked some and handed it to us. Which was all well and good, except that I had no idea what to do with it.

We tasted a leaf - it had a nice, mild flavor and a bit of juicy crunch. I can't think of any common grocery store vegetable that is comparable, but maybe someone reading this can suggest one in the comments : )

We discovered on the internet that English speakers called it Purslane, and it was great for salads, and was thought to have substantial health benefits.

I was mulling aloud over what to do with it, when my young daughter spontaneously volunteered, "I know, Mommy, make a salad out of it with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Feta!" Well, our salad was born - we tossed in a basic Lemon Juice and Olive Oil dressing - and we had a hit! The next thing you knew, we were foraging for more Glysterida to make more salad, and having family offer us more! (If you forage your own - be cautious, as there is a somewhat similar looking poisonous plant - forage carefully!) Sometimes we'd add a handful of Olives, or a spoonful of Capers - but the basic method stayed the same. (This would also be good with a little minced Red Onion - if that's your preference. That is NOT my daughter's preference, and this is HER first recipe creation : )

This is not the kind of recipe that requires measuring, but I'm adding suggested amounts after each item, in case you're the measuring kind of person. 

So, this is it:

Purslane (Glysterida) Salad
Combine Equal Parts:
Coarsely Chopped Cucumbers (1 Cup) (If possible, use good Cucumbers like English Hothouse)
Coarsely Chopped Tomatoes (1 Cup)
Purslane Leaves (1 Cup)
Add as and if desired:
Optional Olives (1/4 Cup), Capers (1 Tablespoon) and/or Diced Onion (1 Tablespoon)

Make Dressing (or use my Oil Free Substitute) :
Mix equal parts of Lemon Juice (2 Tablespoons) and Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons). Add Generous Garlic Salt (1 teaspoon), and a bit of Dried Oregano (1/2 teaspoon)

Toss Salad with Dressing
Top with
Crumbled or Cubed Feta Cheese (1/4 Cup) (Feta may be served on the side if desired, so each diner can decide whether or not to indulge)


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