Sumakli Nar Eksili Semizotu Salatasi – Fresh Purslane Salad

I made this last weekend at my parents’ place and everybody loved it. Fresh Purslane Salad with walnuts is a regional recipe from South Eastern Turkey, I don’t know if Ottoman palace chefs made purslane this way, but I know that there is an extremely delicious meze recipe calling for purslane, yogurt and garlic. I’ll write about that later. This one is simple, delicious. Highly recommended if you like sour and nutty salads and if you have access to these ingredients.


Ingredients:

4-5 cups of fresh purslane leaves and stems

3 tomatoes

1 onion

1 cup of walnuts

1 tablespoon of sumac

3 tablespoons of sour pomegranate syrup (if not available, you can replace with 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of virgin olive oil

Purslane is basically a weed and a succulent plant. It’s very common in Turkish food recipes, especially in regional cooking styles. Some call it pirpirim, some semizotu and in some regions it is called sogukluk.

In order to prepare this salad, you need to clean, wash and drain the purslane first. To make sure all the dirt washes away, I recommend soaking it into a bowl of water-vinegar mixture for 5-10 minutes, then rinse and drain.

Break the purslane into 2-inch pieces, peel and chop tomatoes into 2-3 cm cubes.

Julienne the onion like this:

Then rub the onions with some salt to get rid of the bitter taste. Wash and drain them. Add sumac, walnuts, salt, lemon and pomegranate syrup into onions. Mix well and add this sauce to the purslane and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss and add olive oil. Serve. If you plan to serve it at a later time, prepare the sauce (sumac, lemon, olive oil, salt, pomegranate syrup and walnuts), purslane and tomatoes separately. Prepare onions and mix all the ingredients right before serving. Avoid preparing onions or/and mixing the sauce into the vegetables beforehand as they will release their juices and turn into a slimy mess in an hour or so.

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