Saturday, February 28, 2009

Purslane, Tomato and Persian Fetta Salad

Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've found something new at the market - Purslane

purslane© by Haalo

Purslane may well be thought of as a weed, having the rather unflattering name of pigweed and hogweed, but this unusual green shouldn't be overlooked. By the look and feel of its spoon shaped leaves, you can immediately tell that it is a succulent. All parts are edible, the leaves, stem, flower and the seeds.

purslane© by Haalo

Purslane is a very nutritious plant and is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids as well as good quantities of Vitamins A and C. It also has anti-inflammatory and digestive properties - with high levels of anti-oxidants, its a plant we certainly should be eating more of.

The leaves are a little juicy, a subtle savoury flavour - the stems have a bit more bite and flavour.

In the dish I'm making I've decided to make use of all its healthy properties and enjoy it raw. I've tempted it with a mix of heirloom tomatoes and persian fetta to create a colourful salad.

purslane, tomato and persian fetta salad© by Haalo

Purslane, Tomato and Persian Fetta Salad

purslane, leaves picked, washed & dried
mixed tomatoes, quartered
Persian fetta
extra virgin olive oil
aged balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

I was lucky to score a gorgeous display of various heirloom tomatoes at the market today

heirloom tomatoes© by haalo

and with their different colours, tastes, textures and sizes, they make a wonderful salad just on their own.

Place you prepared tomatoes into a bowl and scatter over with purslane leaves, toss briefly. Crumble over with a little Persian fetta and very gently tumble it through. Drizzle over with a little olive oil and season to taste.

You can enjoy it as it but I've used it as a topped for Bruschetta

purslane, tomato and persian fetta bruschetta© by Haalo

On grilled pieces of ciabatta, generously top with the salad mix and then drizzle over with good aged Balsamic Vinegar.


  1. Delicious! I get purslane in my garden every year in late summer, and I've enjoyed it a few times. Very jealous that you're having those beautiful tomatoes! This like a wonderful combination.

  2. Looks interesting!! I have never heard from that plant!!! But I will look it up!! that sandwich looks so yummie:)!!!

  3. Now I know what it is, we call it in Dutch: Postelein. My father has it in his garden & I know it is really yummie:) & healthy!!

  4. There is no such thing as Persian feta but there is Persian white cheese. Feta is indigenous to Greece only and is a product of Protected Designation of Origin. This is a salad we eat very often in Greece.

    Maria Anagnostopoulou

  5. Thanks Kalyn - its a bit late in the season to see these tomatoes but I love them

    Thanks Sophie!

    Maria - lucky for me it is called Persian Fetta, notice the two t's. Next time, pay closer attention.

  6. I love purslane! I first had it in a dish my Mexican friends called "verdolagas", which I finally found out is Spanish for purslane. Whatever you call it, it's a tasty green :)

  7. Wow! Very interesting about Purslane. Never had it before.


  8. Very colourful indeed! I would love this on bruschetta. Yum!

  9. I gotta say those tomatoes look beautiful!!

  10. Thanks Vicki - I wonder how many names Purlsane has.

    Thanks Paz!

    Thanks Holler!

    Thanks Melissa - they are fabulous.

  11. Hi Haalo,
    We call it as pappukoora aaku and as ganga payalaaaku.
    We use it along with Toor dal a kind of lentil along with tomatoes ,green chillies a lil bit of tamarind paste.Good to go with steamed rice.
    In US ,we will get these in spanish supermarkets named as "verdolagas" .
    Lovely pictures.


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