August 20, 2011

Salade Khorfeh - Shirazi Style Purslane Salad

Wouldn't it be nice to walk into your local farmers' market and find bunches of fresh khorfeh (purslane) bundled up and stacked neatly next to the basil and mint on the shelf? I am hopeful that one-day purslane will no longer be considered as just an annoying garden weed that's neglected.  Perhaps if instead of sprouting in every corner purslane was sowed and watered in vegetable gardens then it might have been appreciated more for its nutritional values, beauty and taste. But until then I am grateful that purslane grows everywhere and I can easily spot them on the lawn, in flower beds and next to the garden rocks. I appreciate purslane's generous and humble nature. This year, I have removed some of the purslanes and transplanted them into flower pots to use for cooking. These beautiful and succulent herbs have a distinct sweet and sour taste and are a perfect addition to a cucumber and tomato summer salad.

For this recipe I used small, young leaves of purslane that will go well with tiny pieces of Persian cucumber, firm tomatoes and onion known as salad shirazi.  The combination of these three main ingredients with the lemon juice and olive oil salad dressing is simply a perfect side to many delicious Iranian dishes. If the leaves are broad you may want to chop them into smaller pieces to blend well or just use the tender small leaves. سالاد خرفه Salade khorfeh goes well with khoresh bademjan. A spoonful of aromatic basmati saffron rice mixed with the velvety texture of eggplant sauce and topped with this tasty and crunchy salad is truly amazing!

Last summer, I posted a recipe for mast-o-khorfeh (yogurt with purslane). Tokhm-e khorfeh (purslane seeds) are used as a topping for naan berenji.

Salade Khorfeh - Shirazi Style Purslane Salad

Serves 4-6

2 cup purslane leaves
5 Persian cucumbers or any small and seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into small pieces
4 firm plum tomatoes or any small ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, (red or yellow), cut into small pieces, I used red onion.
1 teaspoon dried mint 
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine purslane, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and dried mint.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
Serve this beautiful and delicious salad cold or at room temperature with your favorite dish.



  1. It's so lovely to see your purslane thriving! I've done the exact same thing and am monitoring my planter and hoping before fall I'll have some to be able to eat at least once. Hopefully they reseed in the pot too so I can have more next year.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will make this with my first batch!

  2. Bella, thanks for visiting. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out!

  3. is olive oil used in a tradtional shirazi salad?..its my undertanding that olive oil is very uncommon in Persian cooking ?

  4. i never know the purslane leave until i read the recipe here, it all leave me being curious

    1. When I first grew a vegetable garden here (in Michigan) I was pulling this viney weed out constantly, it was growing everywhere. Then I found out it was purslane, and not only edible but yummy! I have tried it in salad, and this year I am going ot use it more, since I have to pull it out of my garden anyway! If you like crunchy fresh spinach you will probably like purslane. I thought it was slightly tangy.

  5. Anonymous, in general the use of olive oil is uncommon in traditional Persian cooking. However, many Iranians have adapted the healthy approach to meal preparation by using vegetable oil or olive oil in their cooking. Nowadays, the extensive use of roghan heyvani (animal fat) in cooking is mostly a thing of the past for obvious health reasons. In preparing this salad I have chosen to use olive oil (extra virgin) over vegetable oil for its taste and health benefits. I have added the option of vegetable oil in the recipe. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  6. Shirazi salad is my favorite salad!
    I wasn't familiar with purslane either though.
    I was adding basil instead...
    I'm also very curious how it tastes like.

  7. Purslane! That's the English name! My husband's family introduced khorfeh to me, but I didn't know what to call it in English. Everyone jokes that it's a weed here in the US, found in the cracks of the sidewalk. Your salad looks lovely! My sister-in-law uses khorfeh in yogurt, like mast-o-khiar. YUM!

  8. Hi Azita joon,
    Is khorfeh a southern Iranian herb? I've never heard of it before. Thanks for introducing us to these rare Iranian foods. I made kalam polow using your recipe last week. It was the first time my family had even eaten kalam polow and everyone loved it. Thank you :)

  9. Hi Leilee jan, I don't think khorfeh is a southern herb. Apparently it grows in Rasht, Lahijan, Tehran, Arak and other places too.

    I'm so glad that you gave kalam polow a try and your family enjoyed it. Thanks so much.


  10. I've never tried purslane. I will have to ask my husband about it!

  11. Thanks for this. I have been gathering purslane at the end of every summer for a couple of years now after my Palestinian friends introduced it to me as "bagli". The Cypriots eat it too, but this is the first recipe I have seen specifically for it. Usually I just throw it into the salads

  12. I did not know this site about " khorfeh " and other vegetables . Especially the writing by Finglish , about the Shirazi salads , like using Khorfeh dnd it's seed into salad or " Masto Khiar " . Thank you so much . Sefimm ,from Iran .

  13. Salam, je vous écris de la France , juste pour dire Que je connaissais Khorfeh depuis 50 ans. I found this vegetable in Iranian country side since i was a child, and my family use to eat it. Of course every body must discover life and the Nature.

  14. This recipe looks great. It's very close to my Lebanese purslane salad recipe (not fatoush), Salatit Ba'leh, which includes purslane, garlic, mint (optional), tomato, onion, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and olive oil. I think the cucumber would be a great addition.

  15. Beautiful salad, thank you for sharing the recipe. Had something similar greek salad with feta cheese as well on my holidays in Greece. Beautiful ferb

  16. Hello, we use this herb quite a lot in spring in Kurdish foods, I am from Iraqi Kurdistan and we love it, we put it on the side to eat with other fresh vegetables, we make tomato stew with it, we also make a special stew with purslane and green lentils in a tomato stew, among other dishes. It is used often in spring in Kurdish areas. I completely love it.