19 May 2016
This week on Knidos Cookery Club we’ll be looking at some ways of using purslane, our favourite weed. This highly-nutritious plant is called semizotu and is widely cultivated in Turkey, where it also grows wild. It’s used in salads, soups and stews.
Purslane has a crunchy texture and a lemony taste and can be used as a substitute for spinach and watercress. This superweed is packed with vitamins – it has the highest concentration of vitamin E of any plant and also contains a useful essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, reports motherearthnews.com.
In the Knidos area, it’s a mainstay of meze, or starter, combos when served with yogurt and a hint of garlic. The leaves and stems are also good as a simple but tasty salad dressed with a tahini sauce.
We’ve opted for a vitamin-packed spring stew, Semizotu Nohutlu Bulgur Pilavı with purslane, chick peas (garbanzo beans), tomato. carrot and bulgur wheat. Here’s what the finished dish should look like:
One bunch of purslane
One medium-sized onion
Four medium-sized tomatoes
100 g coarse bulgur wheat
One can chick peas or 150 g dried chick peas soaked overnight and boiled for an hour or so
One bay leaf
Fresh herbs – parsley and mint
A pinch of cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, red chili flakes, thyme and salt
250 ml warm water
25 ml olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and add the chopped onion, the bay leaf and a sprinkle of dried thyme.
Slice the carrot into 50 mm rounds then chop up the tomatoes. When the onions are translucent, add the carrots to the mix and after five minutes or so add the tomatoes.
Cook for another five minutes then add the chick peas, bulgur wheat and water and season with the fresh herbs and spices.
Stir well and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down, add the purslane and cook over a low heat for 20-25 minutes until the bulgur wheat is cooked but still a bit chewy.
Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes then serve with yogurt and garnish with mint.