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 in 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 purslane and transplanted them to 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.