Perhaps purslane has been growing wild in your own back yard and you never knew. Purslane was cultivated in Europe as early as the 1200s and has been valued for its nutrional, medicinal and even spiritual benefits by many cultures around the world.
Early Europeans, many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern peoples, even the Chinese have used purslane in their cooking and rituals for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even early pagans such as the Celts used purslane as a medicinal and spiritual aid.
The Turks are no exception. In Turkey, purslane is used in many hot and cold salads, side dishes and main course meals and valued for it's high nutritional value.
One of my favorite Turkish recipes using purslane is purslane with yogurt and garlic. This dish is traditionally served cold as a salad or "meze," another name for a starter served before the main course. I also like to use it as a spread on toasted bread or crackers.
If you have easy axcess to fresh purslane in your neighborhood or at your farm market, go ahead and try this Turkish recipe. It's very easy to prepare with only a few ingredients. It goes very well in place of green salad, especially with grilled meats and chicken.
You can also use it like Tzatziki, eaten alone or inside pita sandwiches and wraps.
Photo © annavee - Fotolia.com