Tomato Purslane Salad with White Peach Dressing

Tomato Purslane Salad

One of my favorite things about summer is going to a farmer’s market and being surprised by an ingredient that you don’t see too often. Such was the case this past Saturday when I went to the monthly New Amsterdam Market –which by the way, is THE best market in all of NYC.

In addition to the usual array of stunning produce, and delicious prepared foods, one vendor had plastic baggies full of something that looked suspiciously like the invasive weeds I’d toiled away countless hours of my childhood trying to eradicate from my parents yard. A closer look and query confirmed that this vendor was indeed selling bags of Purslane.

Purslane Salad Recipe

In the US, Purslane is considered a weed, one so hardy that it always managed to sprout its tear-drop leaves out of the silty clay in my parents yard. Given my antagonistic past with this succulent, something felt a bit wrong about paying $4 for a bag of weeds. I did enjoy it in a salad I had recently though, and I thought the Purslane would go great with the ripe heirloom tomatoes I’d just picked up. So wallet emptied, and bag full, I trotted home to go experiment with my new find.

Purslane leaves have a slightly slimy okra-like texture when bitten into, and they are mildly tart due the the presence of oxalate in the stems. According to Wikipedia, they also contain more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable. It has a very green flavor, kind of like raw green beans, and while I’m not sure I’d want to eat a salad comprised of purslane alone, it made for a wonderful addition to my heirloom tomato salad.

The floral white peach dressing compliments the grassy purslane, and the specks of sea salt make the tomatoes explode with sweetness. This dish is pure summer, chopped up and strewn about on a plate–weeds and all.

Tomato Purslane Salad with White Peach Dressing

2 tablespoons white peach puree
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
1 hand full of purslane, thick stems removed
sea salt for finishing

Make the dressing by whisking together the peach puree, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl, add 3/4 of the dressing and toss to coat. Put the purslane in a different bowl and toss with the remaining dressing.

Plate the tomatoes, then top with the purslane. Finish with a sprinkle of some sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.

  • christinefreshlocalandbest

    Purslane is one of my favorite greens. I like the vibrant color in this summer salad, and the way the purslane is assembled to look like vines among the tomatoes and peaches.

  • http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

    Beautiful, beautiful photos!

  • http://www.facebook.com/piercival Mike Pierce

    We had lots of Purlsane in the yard when I was a lad too; it was an invasive pest. One day my Italian aunt (who had married a Mexican decades earlier and had become an amazing Mexican cook) dropped in and snatched the lot of it, cooking it in a stew with pork butt. It had a touch of okra-like gooey texture, but OMG what a great flavor combo! She has long since passed, but I would love to try and recreate the dish. It was sublime.

  • Ambitious

    I love the vibrant colors!

    So funny! Some people have told me that they don't understand the ramps phenomenon because it was considered to be weeds while growing up, and like you, don't want to pay $4 to buy it now. :)

  • Jcarden

    OK Marc, your appearance with Bobby Flay on the Food Network show “Grill It!” is this Sunday morning, August 1st, isn't it? Thought you would want to send out a reminder!! I can't wait to watch!

  • http://cookin-log.junkoco.com/ junkoco

    Wow, beautiful colors!!
    Great picture as usual!

  • Joan Nova

    Marc – This is so beautiful and I'm sure refreshing.

  • SippitySup

    Congrats on Top 9! Beautiful salad and ingredient. The sweet peach is a great choice against the slight sour of purslane. I made a similar salad this week too, using middle eastern flavors. GREG http://www.sippitysup.com/market-matters-super-flavorful-conversation-starting-purslane-weed-whacker-salad

  • http://fiddle-heads.blogspot.com Tricia

    This looks great and is perfectly timed — purslane is currently taking over my garden, the tomatoes are starting to be ready and so are the peaches.

    BTW, I'm watching you on “Grilling It” with Bobby Flay right now. Congrats!

  • http://siamtraffic.com m.y.

    this looks yummy!!

  • Mylittleexpatkitchen

    Such a colorful dish. I really love these kind of salads. Purslane grows wild all around Greece and I love using it in all kinds of dishes.
    Magda

  • http://www.travellady.com Madelyn Miller

    Thanks so much. After seeing the picture (but not reading far enough to find the recipe) I got inspired and made a chicken salad with raspberry miso vinagrette and fresh papaya. I might make it again tomorrow (it was yummy) and add cashews and/or maybe coconut.

  • norecipes

    Sounds delicious! My goal is to inspire:-)

  • http://www.rusticgardenbistro.com Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro

    Definitely the best-lookin' weeds I've ever seen! Looks delicious. You've officially inspired me to try a dressing with peach puree. :-)

    [K]

  • http://www.spinachtiger.com Spinachtiger

    I've wondered what to do with purslane. This is so beautifully arranged, and the peach dressing is a great idea. Even a touch of honey would do.

  • MaWa

    I am looking forward to trying this. I first heard that this plant is edible from a Mexican woman who said her mother used to harvest and cook it regularly. They called it pig weed or something like that. I took a sample to the Master gardeners booth at our local farmer's market and confirmed it as an edible plant. After all, what is a weed but a plant out of place. Maybe Purslane has found it's place in my vegetable garden where it grows in profusion. MaWa

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