It’s verdolagas / purslane season here, and that means I’m eating it every day, sometimes for two meals a day, mostly in cold salads like this one. I like purslane cooked, but most of the time in the summer when I eat it, I just want to wash it, chop it, and call it a day.
This simple salad is a good example of something I’ll make after weeding some from the garden. The ingredients might change a bit here and there, but the basic proportions are the same. about 1:1:1 purslane and other ingredients by volume. For this one I was feeling the green and white colors, and cool flavors, but you could easily throw a few tomatoes or something else in there to add juice to the natural dressing, along with some acid.
Keep everything about the same size
Whatever you do, one of the keys for just tossing together little slaws and salads like this out of random things in the fridge is trying to keep everything around the same size. You want everything to be able to fit on a spoon, so the guest can taste all of the flavors you’ve put into the salad. For this, the purslane was nice and tender so I cut it into about 1 inch pieces, but it could be cut finer if you like. 1 or 1/2 inch pieces are pretty nice though, as they allow you to keep as many of the purslane leaves whole as possible, while being able to just slice them up quickly and not spend time picking tiny clusters of leaves apart, which can be a little putsy.
Purslane, or verdolagas are loved in Latin America, so this salad with it’s avocado, lime and cilantro (or your favorite herb) reflects that, but you certainly steer it in another direction, probably Mediterranean first, nixing the avocado, and adding some sliced red onion, olives, feta, and mint or basil. Once you get the hang of throwing some chopped purslane in a bowl with a few other things and seasoning it up, you’ll come up with all sorts of ideas.
Purslane, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad
- 3 oz washed and dried purslane about 1.5 cups, cut into 1 inch pieces, any larger tough stems removed *see note*
- ½ a large cucumber
- 1 large avocado
- Small handful of fresh sliced cilantro dill, or mint, to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Fresh lime or lemon juice to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Cut the cucumber into ¼’s the long way and remove the seeds with a knife, then cut the quarters in half, and cut into 1 inch segments.
- Dice the avocado into ½ inch cubes.
- Combine all ingredients, season to taste.
- Taste the seasoning and correct as needed for citrus, herbs, and salt, then serve cold.
- The salad will start to wilt after about 15 minutes.