Purslane (portulaca oleracea) has been labeled as a garden weed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and I gave up looking for it in stores long ago. In Iran, and in many other countries, khorfeh (purslane) happens to be a popular summer green. I'm always looking for different ways to prepare purslane. However, with the little purslane that I end up gathering I can't get too creative! I usually add them to salad shirazi, mast o khiar, sabzi khordan and fruit salads. Tokhm-e khorfeh, purslane's black seeds, are used in Iranian baking and sprinkled on naan berenji and shirini keshmeshi.
On a recent trip to the grocery store I was surprised to find rows of purslane nicely stacked on the shelf. They were imported from Mexico! I bought a few bunches and then decided to make کوکوخرفه kookoo khorfeh - purslane kookoo with parsley, chives and caramelized onion.
Now that summer is almost behind us there are only a few purslane plants out there in the garden and I wanted to write this recipe before the season is officially over. I find it much easier to bake kookoo sabzi in the oven than on the stove-top and it doesn't require turning over the wedges/slices. For this recipe, however, I decided to cook it the traditional way on the stovetop like how my mother used to make almost all her foods. I feel that kookoo cooked on the stove comes out tastier! I understand that many of you like to add a little baking powder to kookoo dishes so feel free to add a teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture if you prefer.
Kookoo Khorfeh - Purslane Kookoo
2 bunches purslane (2 cups chopped) use the leaves and the thin part of the stems. Discard the thicker ends
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (1 cup chopped)
1 bunch fresh tareh (chives) or scallions (green parts only) (1 cup chopped)
6 large eggs, beaten
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely diced walnuts *optional
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Vegetable oil/olive oil
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion slices until translucent, add the turmeric powder, stir. Lower the heat and continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally until brown. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the chopped purslane, parsley, chives, caramelized onion, walnuts, eggs, red pepper and season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, pour in the egg mixture and spread evenly. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on low. Cut the kookoo in 8 equal wedges. Carefully turn over the slices half way through cooking using a fork and a spatula. You can also slice the kookoo after it is fully cooked.