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Purslane Salad With Peach And Curd

Sep 2, 2010

Purslane Salad
I wish the idea of bringing wild purslane and white peaches together had been mine. But no. I saw and tasted it in a restaurant called Su'dan in Çeşme (the Aegean resort, if you don't know by now), whose highly original menu stands out among those of good, but carbon copy restaurants in Alaçatı Çeşme. True, that every restaurant or cafe in Alaçatı has its distinctive sense of style but when it comes to their menus, they are far from being innovative.

Although sounds like Sudan the country, Su'dan means "out of the water", in reference to its seafood dominated menu, "su" meaning water in Turkish. The bar that salutes you on your left as you enter is a big wash basin, filled with fresh fruits and herbs and that's where they prepare killer cocktails with very intriguing combinations, like oregano martini and rose water margarita. While you are studying the menu written on the black board in the courtyard where you eat, one of the lovely young waitresses brief you about it and you can't resist ordering everything, because nothing sounds like something you have tasted before and you don't want to miss out any of it. Though a bit pricey, I never regret paying for food when there is a good deal of imagination and originality involved.

When improvising salad, I always follow the simple rule I have read somewhere or heard from someone, I don't remember who (perhaps Anthony Bourdain), that a perfect salad needs at least one ingredient from four groups of nutrients: greens, nuts, fruits and cheese. This salad of Su'dan had all three, purslane for greens, curd for cheese and white peach for fruits, but no nuts. So I added pine nuts which I know them to go great with purslane, to compensate for the missing crunchiness.

Wild Purslane Salad with White Peache

Recipe: recipe inspired by Su'dan Alaçatı)

Ingredients:

  • 3 handfuls of wild purslane
  • 1 white peach, seed removed, cut into bite-size slices
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • a handful of curd or ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Cut off long stalks of purslane. Wash with cold water and drain.
  2. Roast pine nuts in a frying pan, over medium heat for a minute. Keep the pan moving to prevent them from burning. Remove from heat when they are lightly browned.
  3. Combine purslane, nuts, white peach slices and curd crumbles in a bowl.
  4. For the dressing, whisk white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss well before serving.
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