Purslane is a wild food--or, as many a gardener would say, a weed--that often grows in great abundance where we least want it to be. (Isn't that the definition of "weed," anyway?) Check out my other blog for info on this plant. If you don't know what purslane is, you may recognize it from the photo linked to, since it's a very common plant.
Here's one fine way to use purslane: in a potato salad. The original recipe is here. I thought a vinaigrette version might be good, and I was right! It's very tasty. I used sliced radishes in my salad, since we have so many right now. The crunch added texture, and the pungency did not come amiss, either.
Don't use all the salad dressing at first--pour a little on and see how much you'll need. Any that's left over will be good on pasta or tossed salad.
6 small to medium redskin potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
2 cups washed purslane leaves
4 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup olive oil
2 T. lemon juice (or more, to taste)
2 T. red wine vinegar (or more,to taste)
garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dry tarragon
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the potatoes with their skins on until just tender. Drain and plunge into cold water. Let cool. Peel and cut into slices, chunks, or dice, as you prefer.
Chop purslane coarsely. Add purslane and scallions to potatoes.
Mix dressing ingredients until emulsified (I like to shake them in a jar). Pour over salad until it looks and tastes right. Chill. If the salad sits around in the fridge for a while before serving, you may need to add a little more dressing just at serving time so it's moist enough.