A friend gave me a big bag of purslane from her garden.
First, I made hummus (2 cans garbanzo beans plus about half a can’s liquid, many cloves of garlic, juice from a lemon, enough olive oil to make the blender run, salt to taste) and spread it on a pita (somehow we managed to buy the ones that don’t open into a pocket, so our dinner more resembled tostadas than pita pocket sandwiches). Added some pan-fried falafel, and then we topped the whole thing with the following recipe (I told my kids it was Middle Eastern Salsa… whaddaya know, they bought it!):
Chopped Arabic Salad
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1/2-lb) cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 1/3 cups)
1 lb tomatoes (3 medium), cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 1/2 cups)
1 cup finely chopped red onion (1 small) or 1 cup chopped scallions (about 5)
1 cup coarsely chopped purslane (optional)
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1 large bunch)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint (from 1 bunch)
Cut peel, including all white pith, from lemon with a sharp paring knife. Working over a bowl, cut segments from half of lemon free from membranes and transfer segments to a cutting board, then squeeze juice from membranes and remaining 1/2 lemon into bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons juice to a large bowl, then finely chop segments and add to measured juice. Add salt, pepper, and oil, whisking to combine, then stir in remaining ingredients. Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings.
The one thing my friend didn’t tell me was that purslane has a distictive slippery mouthfeel to it (not unlike okra). This isn’t my favorite sensation, and so I probably won’t be making this again… but still, I was able to make something new and interesting with it.