Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hand Me My Purslane

Hello sweeties,

I went to the market this weekend. It's so hot I was motivated to get there a bit earlier than usual. I think I was plodding around by 8am this time. Getting there early is good for two reasons, a less determined sun and the best pick of everything. Guess what i stumbled on? A little herb called Purslane. I've heard it mentioned but never had seen it before. It looks like a cross between Lambs Ear (that lovely dusted ground cover clever people add to their gardens) and watercress. For a buck a bunch I couldn't pass up the opportunity to experiment.

Once home I found this out online:

Medieval herbals describe purslane as ‘cold,’ meaning that it was considered a cure for a ‘burning’ (or malfunctioning) heart and liver. Greeks call it a ‘blood-cleansing’ herb. In Mexico, purslane is considered good for diabetics.
Recent research has confirmed that purslane is one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as carotenes and vitamin C

excellent! I'm on this anti-inflammatory diet a month now - as I mentioned - and I've decided to go another month. But more about that later.

Another attention grabber at the market were the little goblin melons called lemon cucumbers. Again, heard of them, I suppose I've seen them before but had never tasted them. So, I got a sample from a hurried young man at a booth and got myself about 4 of them. I wasn't overwhelmed by the flavor at that point but did detect the lemony essence and I liked the texture. I wasn't in a mood to quarrel with myself about it.

With no real plan for any of the ingredients purchased that day Moj and I went about dinner. We were in foul moods that night. Self pitying and snarling at one another. She took to the grill for fish tacos and I opted for the salad of the evening. Here is what I made:

Purslane Lemon Cuke Salad with Summer Corn

2 bunches of Purslane leaves
3 lemon cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cob fresh uncooked sweet corn (yellow is has more beta carotene)
a bit of really good olive oil
a generous splash of white balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
a bit of lemon thyme if you have it (skip it if you don't the other kinds are too strong)
Or fresh basil chiffinod (roll the leaves together lengthwise and slice, deary, gives you sweet little ribbons of basil throughout your salad)

Toss together and let stand for 15 minutes while making the rest of dinner. Just before eating squeeze a bit of lemon over the salad. Toss and serve.


Oh, and Moj's tacos were awesome too. She makes a marinade out of tequila.. not on the diet but overlooked just this once. Maybe she'll give us her recipe sometime.