Monday, August 29, 2011

salatat baqle—lebanese purslane salad—with finally garden ripened tomatoes!

finally, it's been warm enough in portland for the tomatoes to ripen. and i found enough purslane (baqle) to make another salatat baqle with fresh garden ripe tomatoes instead of canned. check out the photos from my earlier post before the tomatoes were ready!

and yet today started out cold and rainy. i'm tempted to get a sweater and make some hot soup! the sun's trying to come out. and i'm grateful for the beautiful figs that have finally started ripening a month late, and grateful we're not having heat waves, floods, or droughts. grateful for the summer just as it is.

Monday, August 15, 2011

purslane: a summer weed/super food makes a zingy lebanese salad—salatat baqle

purslane, an international common weed originating in India, known in Arabic as baqle, contains more Omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid. as many health-conscious folks know, omega-3's are antioxidants.

it is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, providing 44% of RDA) and one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant.

but beyond health benefits, today i found enough baqle to make the purslane salad recipe from alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking on p. 70, and it was so good, i ate the whole bowl! i found the weed in beds planted with other veggies, on pathways, under a summer squash plant; this year it's really thriving.

what i love so much is that it just shows up in the garden on it's own like clockwork, in the middle of summer...august 15, full moon and all.

wash and drain it along with italian parsley and spearmint, the thick stems removed, 

and then chopped along with fresh tomatoes if you have them. mine aren't ripe yet, so i used some canned ready-cut organic tomatoes that i use until my garden tomatoes ripen. the dressing is, if you read this blog you'll have guessed, garlic mashed with sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil!

simple to prepare...a perfect summer lunch with baba ghannouj, garden cukes, and some gluten free rice crackers for dipping. 

bon appetite!

please add a comment letting us know if you have found purslane (baqle) in your garden and what city and country you're in! it will be fun to see the responses! of course let us know if you make this perfect summer salad!