|There's a lot to love about this Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane!|
In case anyone reading this might have a fleeting thought that lettuce salads are boring, let me start by telling you that this Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane, Mint, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette was one of the most exciting things I've made for weeks. First, there's Sumac, one of my favorite flavors and a seasoning I think many Americans are missing out on. Then there is Purslane, one of the healthiest plants in the world. (Purslane has more omega-3 fatty acid than any other plant.) Plus, if you have a garden you can probably find Purslane growing as a weed! Take Sumac and Purslane and add red leaf lettuce, mint, cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, and lemon and you have most of my favorite summer flavors, combined in a salad that's about as healthy as you can get!
I've been interested in Purslane since first I tried it in Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane. Now that I have gravel around my garden beds it's not as abundant at my house, but I still found this much growing among my veggies when I went out to pick it last week! I did giggle a little when I found that you can buy Purslane seeds, after years of trying to get rid of the weeds. If you have a good farmers market you may find Purslane for sale there. (Edit: Don't confuse Purslane with a weed called Spurge, which irritates the eyes and skin and is poisonous to some animals. Purslane leaves and stems are much thicker, almost like a succulent.)
If you're picking your own Purslane, it can be pretty dirty. I washed it in the sink, then chopped it up and washed it again in the salad spinner.
I guess I forgot to take a photo of the dressing, but here is a picture of Sumac, which you can order from Amazon.com, The Spice House, or Penzeys. (Full disclosure: Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar when you purchase through the link to Amazon.com., thanks!) If you don't want to buy Sumac, just add a little more lemon.
Toss all the salad ingredients together with enough dressing to moisten it, season with salt, pepper, and more ground Sumac as desired, and enjoy! (I thought this stayed pretty well overnight in the refrigerator for a salad with lettuce and tomatoes, but it's best freshly made.)
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn, with dressing inspired by Fattoush.)
3 cups chopped red or green leaf lettuce
2-3 cups chopped Purslane (or just use what you find if you don't have that much)
1 cup diced tomatoes, or grape tomatoes cut in half
1 cup diced cucumbers
1-2 cups chopped fresh mint (or use parsley if you're not a mint fan)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. ground Sumac + more for sprinkling on salad
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil (use a flavorful olive oil for this)
Wash Purslane well if you're picking it from your garden. I washed it in the sink, then removed roots and chopped the stems and leaves and washed again in the salad spinner.
Chop lettuce, wash, and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Pull mint leaves off stems, wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels, and then coarsely chop mint leaves. Cut cucumbers into small half-moon slices (you may need to peel them if you don't use Persian cucumbers.) Chop tomatoes, or cut cherry tomatoes in half.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup mix together the lemon juice, minced garlic, ground Sumac, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time until the dressing is well-blended.
Put all salad ingredients into a bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, sprinkle with more Sumac as desired, and serve. This salad keeps fairly well overnight in the fridge, but it's best freshly made.
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this salad is a low-glycemic ingredient, making it a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
More Interesting Ideas with Purslane or Sumac:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane from Kalyn's Kitchen
Fattoush (Lebanese "Crumbled Bread" Salad) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Garbanzo Bean Soup with Garlic, Sumac, Olive Oil, and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and Sumac from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Purslane from Healthy Green Kitchen
Purslane Salad from YogurtLand
Ideas for Using Purslane from Israeli Kitchen
Purslane Salad with Yogurt from Almost Turkish Recipes
Chickpea Salad with Purslane and Arugula from Kitchenography
Tomato, Cucumber, and Purslane Salad from Simply Recipes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)