It’s true purslane is an annoyance for most gardeners… but it’s hard for me to be annoyed when it provides such tasty and nutritious salad greens. With a taste reminiscent of a sugar snap pea, purslane is a powerhouse rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and depression. Omega 3’s are an essential part of a healthy diet because high levels of inflammation correlate with disease. According to WebMD, recent research indicates omega-3’s may also be linked with improved memory.
And did I mention that a 100 gram serving of purslane will provide you with all your Vitamin A requirements for the day? It contains about 2500 IU of Vitamin A, and only about 20 calories. (sourced from Nanise’, A Navajo Herbal) Like omega-3’s, Vitamin A also boosts your immune system.
So if you want to support your health and give your mind a boost, gobble up all your purslane weeds! (It’s a more effective eradication method anyway.) But you probably shouldn’t feed these greens to Fido… animals don’t seem to like them, and it’s said they don’t have much nutritional value for animals. Jini. There’s probably a reason they don’t graze on them, right?
One last thing. Before I share my Southwest Summer Salad, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to Dirty Wormy’s FREE monthly newsletter. We won’t share your email, and you’ll receive new recipes and posts straight to your inbox. Sign up now by clicking here! And if you’re already subscribed, thank you for being one of our awesome readers!
Southwest Summer Salad with Purslane, Nectarine & Onion
- Purslane Leaves, about 100g (how to identify purslane)
- Romaine, about 100g
- 2 Nectarines (reserve 2 tablespoons for dressing)
- 1/2 large Red Onion, (reserve 2 tablespoons for dressing)
- 1 or 2 fresh Jalapeno Peppers
- 2 Wild Sunflower Heads or 1 large cultivated sunflower (how to identify sunflowers)
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Oil
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- If you plucked the purslane fresh from your yard, begin by rinsing it in several changes of water.
Alternatively, put it in a colander, rinse with water, wash with vegetable/fruit spray, and rinse thoroughly one more time. This way saves me a lot of time!
- Pull the leaves off the stems of the purslane plants and place it in a medium serving bowl or 2 salad bowls.
Pulling the leaves off is optional, but creates a more elegant aesthetic. Be warned, it is a bit time consuming!
- Roughly chop the romaine and add it to the bowl.
- Pit the nectarines and slice them, thick or thin depending on your preference.
- Finely chop the onion and mince the jalapeno after you have cut out the seeds. Add the onion, jalapeno, and nectarine to the bowl.
- In a blender, make the dressing by blending the sunflower oil, vinegar, reserved nectarine, reserved onion, and sea salt together. If you like a stronger flavor, add a seeded jalapeno. If you’re really daring, leave the seeds in!
- Pour just enough dressing over the salad to coat it thoroughly. You will have *a little* left over.
- Give the sunflower heads a quick rinse under water and pluck the yellow ray flowers from the sunflower head, before adding them to the top of the salad as a fun garnish.
Alternatively, if you are using a smaller sunflower variety, you can leave the flower whole and place it in the salad, off to the side.
Be sure your flowers haven’t been sprayed before consuming and when harvesting, it’s helpful to gently beat the flower against a sturdy object while holding the stem. This will shake off any bugs. Just be mindful, if you hit too soft the bugs won’t come off and if you hit too hard the petals will fall off.
- Top with fresh grated black pepper to taste.
This recipe lends itself well to substitutions. Use any mild greens you have on hand. Peaches and apricots work well in place of the nectarines. Try a red chili pepper instead of jalapeno and experiment with different seed oils such as grape seed or pumpkin seed oil.
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How do YOU like to eat your purslane? Leave a comment below!