Bought purslane at the farmer's market on a whim or you think it's an annoying "weed" in your garden? Try this Turkish classic purslane recipe with rice and tomatoes! This is a budget-friendly family-favorite on its own as well as with plant-based yogurt on the side.
I've always liked "pilaf with greens in it" while growing up, and never questioned what that green thing was until I moved to the States and wanted to cook it to remedy homesickness. Unfortunately, it was next to impossible to find purslane in Massachusetts.
That was almost 10 years ago and luckily I am now located in Southern California, where "verdolaga" (Spanish for purslane) is often sold at farmer's markets.
What Does Purslane Taste Like?
Edible raw or cooked, purslane tastes salty and mildly sour. Think of it as the more bitter, fun cousin of spinach. You can use it the same exact way you would spinach: make stews or soups with it or enjoy raw in salads.
Although purslane is often considered a weed in the U.S., quite a few places in the world recognize purslane for the treasure that it is. Greeks use their "andrákla" often fried with tomatoes, feta cheese, and olive oil for a delicious salad. Us Turks often use "semizotu" for rice dishes and to make a variety of tzatziki. Purslane is also used in many other countries of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico.
Ingredients for the Purslane Recipe
- 1 bunch purslane (makes about 1.5 cups chopped)
- ½ cup medium-grain rice*
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- up to ½ cup water (you may not need it)
*For this recipe I personally don't wash or soak the rice so that there is more free starch in the final dish, making it almost risotto-like. I love this video by Adam Ragusea where he goes over the rice debacle.
How to Make Turkish Purslane Pilaf
- Wash and cut off the leaves of purslane, then chop the stalks. We will use all parts in this dish.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion on medium heat until slightly golden.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and rice. Sautee for a few more minutes.
- Then, add the purslane and salt. Depending on how juicy the tomatoes you've used are, you may also need to add water at this point.
- Mix and lower the heat. Put on the lid and continue cooking until the rice is soft, about 20 minutes.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes and enjoy with plant-based yogurt on the side.
this purslane recipe is:
- vegan / plant-based
- allergen-friendly & gluten-free
- full of flavor!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you make this purslane recipe! Afiyet olsun (bon appetite)!Print