Thursday, July 28, 2011

Purslane Salad

Purslane is also known as a common weed in my yard anyway.  I bought some at the Farmer's Market to try it out.  When it starts growing again in the yard it will become a regular part of my salads!  It is super high in Omega-3 fatty acids and protein...a great vegan choice.  It is also used by herbalists as a blood cleanser, has antiparasitic properties...well, see for yourself what Cornell University says here.  Best of all it is a yummy, crunchy green addition to your salads.DSC09578purslanesalad
Purslane Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing for 2
torn leaves of butter, green and red leaf lettuce
leaf clusters of purslane
2 chopped lemon cucumber or 1 persian 
1 chopped tomato 
You can also add cubed avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds if you have them but then you will have to eat this salad all summer long because then, well, it's just TOO GOOD!

Purslane Salad IngredientsLemon Garlic Dressing
sliced clove of elephant garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together ingredients, crush garlic if you don't like the raw garlic flavor of slices.  Pour over the salads right before serving evenly distributing the bits of garlic goodness.  (The secret is for both you and your loved one to eat garlic together.)  

Serve with great crusty bread, I served it with a loaf of Italian Semolina bread from the Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farmers Market Bounty

Farmers Market Food Basket
It's the middle of summer and I didn't plant a garden this year but thank goodness for the many Farmer's Markets in Southern California!  I have heard some snooty opinions on the "Best", usually hours from where I live but the best ones for me are always Locally Grown!  I like supporting the small backyard farmers and local growers in my neck of the woods...they are like neighbors to me.  Often I am surprised to find out they are acquaintances who soon become friends as we do business together...that means samples and specials and set asides!
It is good to know that there are people in my area who are equally concerned about the toxic effects of pesticides and herbicides so they grow their own food and in the process have extra to share in the local Farmer's Markets.  I find everything I need in fruits and vegetables except maybe lettuces since we live in such a hot summer area, they don't do well.  Now I just have to get someone to grow golden beets for my favorite roasted beet salad...although one of my new faves is a purslane (weed) salad with a lemony garlicy dressing and good crusty Italian Semolina bread from the market.
That's another great thing about the Farmer's Markets...wonderful breads, marinated garlics, olives, homemade cheeses, local honeys, homemade soaps and so much more.  LOVE IT!  Go visit one and don't forget to recycle your grocery bags or take your cloth ones.  Don't know where you can find one?  In Southern California the Los Angeles Times has a great interactive map here and nationally here.  Have fun!