Tomato, Cucumber, Purslane Salad


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.

Actually, it’s pretty, but to the gardening books it’s considered a weed.

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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.



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

Especially good served with grilled seafood.


  • 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


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

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

Verdolaga from World Crops

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

39 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sandra

    I use them in a egg scramble. First clean them by rinsing them THOROUGHLY in water. Put them back n a pot of water with a piece of onion, garlic clove and salt to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes. Should look like cooked spinach. Then drain water. Never use the water it was cooked in. Then sauté onions, tomatoes, a diced jalapeño until softened. Add verdolagas (purslane) sauté 2 minutes then add your eggs. Season to your personal taste. You can also add, once your eggs are cooked, some tomatoe sauce, a little water. Simmer for 5 minutes. It’s ready. Eat as breakfast, lunch or dinner. ENJOY! This is a recipe from Guadalajara Jalisco where my family is from.

    Show Replies (2)
  2. Brenda

    Wonderful; fresh, summer salad. The family really enjoyed it.


  3. Rhonda

    Yup we use purslane in salads, smoothies and a topping for pizza. It substitutes for kale in most recipes just fine. Thanks for sharing this nice recipe.

  4. Rich

    The stuff tastes great. Goes with everything.

  5. 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!


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