Thursday, March 13, 2014

What the heck is purslane? {bacon crunch salad}

Purslane, according to Wikipedia, also goes by the names verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, pursley and moss rose. Alrighty then...

A little more research online brought me to the conclusion that even though this little green plant had a funny name I had never heard of before, it was something I really should be eating more of. It's a great source of vitamins, phytonutrients and even omega-3 fatty acids!

Unfortunately, I've never seen this veggie in my local grocery stores - the bunch I had was delivered to me through my weekly veggie basket.

I decided I needed a really delicious way to eat these leafy greens, just in case this was the only chance I got.

I rummaged through my fridge until I found the perfect ingredients - and made a kick-ass salad! The hubster finished his off with a, "Mmm!" and said I could make it whenever I wanted!

The ingredients were simple but perfect. The greens were tender and delicious - I left the roots attached as they were small. The local apple was tart and slightly sweet, adding the perfect crunch (leave the skin on organic apples, peel them first otherwise). The bacon was salty and really boosted the flavor. Hard boiled egg is my favorite salad topper and my simple vinaigrette rounded it out, tying everything together.

Now, if, like me, you don't have easy access to purslane, you could always substitute any young greens, such as baby spinach or lamb's lettuce.

This salad is just as beautiful as it is delicious, thereby making it a perfect choice when entertaining guests. It's fast to throw together, but looks and tastes like it took hours to prepare.

I'm thinking this would be delicious as a main course, as well. Just double the amount and add a chicken breast to each salad. Boom. Dinner is served.

Fee free to play with the toppings a bit, too. Chopped walnuts would pair perfectly with this, and my husband thinks he might try adding a bit of Camembert next time (for those of you how can handle dairy like him).

Enjoy!


Bacon Crunch Salad

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of purslane, or other young greens
  • 100 grams of bacon (3+ oz)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1/2 an apple
Method:
  1. Mix together the oil, vinegar, chives, salt and pepper to make the vinaigrette. Place in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Carefully wash, dry and chop the purslane.
  3. Meanwhile, chop and cook the bacon. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. While the bacon is cooling, chop the egg and dice the apple.
  5. In a bowl, place the purslane, bacon, egg and apple. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Optional: top with chopped walnuts, sliced chicken breast...

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