Tomato, Cucumber, Purslane Salad

SaladPaleoVeganCucumber

Wild purslane salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeño chile, lemon juice and salt. Ensalada de Verdolaga.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

For the last few years my garden weeding routine has included the pulling up of a thick-stemmed ground cover plant with little yellow flowers that takes over the pathways around the garden beds. It’s pretty actually, but to the gardening books it’s considered a weed.

What a lot of these books don’t tell you is that purslane, the “weed” in question, is being sold at farmers markets to chefs for $7 a pound!

Not only is it edible, something like crunchy, not-as-spicy watercress, but it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and even Omega 3.

In Mexico it is cultivated, between rows of corn in cornfields. Called “verdolaga” in Spanish, it is used in many dishes, in salads, or cooked with braised pork.

So, this year I decided to just let it grow, and my garden stepping stones are now surrounded by a blanket of green purslane, which so loves the room to spread it has happily crowded out the crab grass.

Purslane

Purslane

The following purslane salad recipe comes from my Mexican friend Arturo Vargas, who chopped up the leaves (discarded the thick stems) and tossed them in with some cucumber, tomato, jalapeño, lemon juice, and salt.

We ate the salad for lunch alongside some quesadillas. Cool, crispy, and refreshing.

If you too are incorporating purslane into your cooking, please let us know in the comments how you are using it.

Tomato, Cucumber, Purslane Salad Recipe

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Especially good served with grilled seafood.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed and discarded, then chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 bunch purslane, thick stems removed, leaves chopped, resulting in about 1/2 cup chopped purslane
  • 1 minced seeded jalapeno chile pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Method

Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl. Salt to taste.

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Links:

Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane from Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen

Verdolaga from World Crops

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

34 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Rich

    The stuff tastes great. Goes with everything.

  • Gayle

    Who knew?!?! We’ve got tons of purslane popping up in between the bricks of our patio and walkway. I’ll be harvesting some today and will definitely be putting together this tomato, cucumber and purslane salad for dinner tonight. Thanks for talking about purslane, Elise…I’d have never put two and two together otherwise!

    Gayle

  • Virginia Mesko

    I think I have this growing in between the steps in my yard here in Illinois. Read all these recipes and want to try it. How can I be sure it’s the right thing?

  • Jenni Garcia

    I work in a Hispanic store and most people use it for costillas de Puerco en salsa verde con verdolagas, cebollas rebanadas, y cuadritos de papa. ( pork baby back ribs in green salsa, purslane, sliced onions, and cubed potatoes.) The other ways are in eggs and in soups. I adores the pork recipe and make it frequently. Serve it with divorced rice topped with halved boiled eggs and yellow tortillas.

  • Polly Mac

    I have my own salad recipe similar to this: cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and purslane soaking in vinegar & italian dressing mix chilled in the fridge. Yummy yummy and very refreshing, especially in the hot summer!

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Tomato Cucumber Purslane SaladTomato, Cucumber, Purslane Salad