Purslane, also known as verdolagas, is an incredibly nutritious, tangy and crunchy, leafy green. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals. It’s also a weed that is fairly likely to be growing in your garden right now! It’s just now getting big enough, with thick stems and succulent leaves, so I dreamed up this salad. Apricot season is short but sweet, and I spent a lovely afternoon picking them at a friend’s house this week. Every year, it’s just a matter of luck whether the blossoms are killed by a late frost, so I make the most of it when they do bear a crop. I saved a few for eating fresh, then canned eight pints of jam and two quarts of brandied apricots. Fresh apricots were delicious in this lemony salad with some queso fresco, but I’m also looking forward to trying it with peaches and blue cheese later in the season.
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 fresh apricots
2 ounces queso fresco or blue cheese
1 pound purslane (large whole sprigs, preferably a few whole plants)
Oil for grilling
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Chop the apricots, crumble the queso fresco or blue cheese, and add them to the bowl. Wash the purslane very thoroughly, keeping it in big pieces for grilling (if you’ve pulled whole plants, keep the roots on – they’re easier to handle that way). Dry it gently and rub or brush with oil. Grill over medium heat, turning several times, until the stems are soft and droopy. Using scissors, snip into 2-inch pieces over the bowl, discarding the roots. Toss with dressing and serve hot or cold. Serves 4 as a side.
Blogger Amy White is totally obsessed with vegetables and fruits. Amy can be found every Friday right here, and on her blog, www.veggieobsession.com.