Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Purslane

I recently read the Greece issue of Saveur Magazine from cover to cover. The stories, the photos, and the recipes were so compelling that my immediate reaction upon finishing was to run to the computer to find out how much it was going to cost me to get to Greece.

Sadly, I can’t afford that trip at any point in the near future. So for now, I have to content myself with making some of the recipes in the magazine, and I started with this fabulous Greek salad (aka Horiatiki).

Greek Salad 2

In my humble opinion, it’s the perfect Greek salad. It’s free of lettuce but heavy on the tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta. It contains just the right amount of fresh parsley and a nice dusting of dried oregano. The only change I made to the recipe was to use heirloom tomatoes and add a handful of purslane leaves, both of which I grow here.

purslane

Mind you, I am not growing purslane on purpose: it’s just all over my property. Purslane is considered a weed and like many weeds that are edible, it happens to be super nutritious. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other vegetable, and it also contains significant amounts of numerous antioxidants.

greek salad 1

While both the stem and the leaves are edible, I prefer to stick with the leaves: they are quite tender and delicious.

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Greek Salad 3

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Recipe for Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Purslane

adapted from this recipe from Saveur Magazine
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • *1-2 handfuls of fresh clean purslane leaves
  • *2 medium heirloom tomatoes cut into 1 1⁄2" pieces (I used 1 red and 1 yellow tomato)
  • *1 small cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1⁄4" pieces (I didn't peel mine, because it was organic and homegrown)
  • *1⁄2 medium white onion thinly sliced (I used red onion)
  • *2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
  • *3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • *1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • *1 pinch dried oregano plus more for garnish
  • *Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • *3-6 oz. sliced feta cheese I prefer sheep's milk feta, and I used the lesser amount
  • *8 kalamata olives

Instructions

  • 1. Combine purslane, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley in a medium bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and oregano; season with salt and pepper, pour over salad, and mix well. Transfer salad to a serving bowl or individual plates and top with sliced feta, olives, and another pinch of oregano; season with fresh ground pepper and more parsley, if desired.