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!


  1. am in Oregon and I believe I have a million of these plants. I thought it was a noxious weed!

  2. hi ellen! great to hear from you!

    hope you try the salatat baqle! you'll find it energizing as well as yummy! do you have spearmint and parsley growing too?

    i forgot to say (although i say it in the cookbook) that the mexican name for purslane is verdolaga and their special way to use this is cooking it into stews with meat. it is a truly international weed!

    blessings and happy cooking!

  3. This is delicious. In Cypriot cuisine we use it a lot.

  4. hi eftychia!
    thanks for your comment! in cypriot cuisine do you use it raw in salads or cooked?
    please sign up to follow my blog on google and networked blogs!

    thanks and happy cooking,

  5. Hello! I just discovered your wonderful blog and joined! Here in Flagstaff, Arizona,we have purslane,too. We're able to gather it not far from our front door. It grows all over here, even in the cracks of the sidewalks. They sell it at our community farmers market sometimes. By the way, try adding a dash of Southeast Asian fish sauce to your olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Squid is an excellent brand of it. Tiparos is also good. Fish sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice with a healthy dash of za'atar is what we love on purslane.

  6. hi guerilla chef!

    thanks for finding the blog and joining! welcome or ahlan wa sahlan, as we say in arabic!

    your mention of finding purslane in the cracks of sidewalks is true in portland, too. i saw a huge plant in the post office parking lot, between the parking lot asphalt and the sidewalk leading into the p.o. naturally, i resisted picking this!

    the fish sauce on purslane with lemon and oil and za'atar really sounds zingy! thanks for the idea! is this your own concoction?

    today i finally picked my first ripe full size tomatoes (a variety called "seattle's best") after having enjoyed a precious few SUNGOLDS; and gathered enough purslane to make another purslane salad. will post photos soon!

    and tonight it is raining! our liquid sunshine will delight the plants and the slugs, which have set a world record this year...i might have to get out there with my flashlight and round 'em up! no, i don't send them to slug heaven, instead, i do "slug AIRLIFT" to the empty half acre next door and wish them happy foraging!

    summer blessings and happy cooking,