Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Purslane and Tomato

Huh? Purslane?  A few weeks ago when we received our CSA box, there was a recipe on the inside.  "New crop is purslane."  I had no idea what purslane could be, so I dug through the box to see if there were any veggies that I did not recognize.  For a picture of purslane, check out this post over at Perrys' Plate.

This amazing leafy plant (is it an herb or a vegetable?) is loaded with omega-3s.  In fact, purslane (or portulaca oleracea) has the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in any leafy vegetable (see this reference for even more interesting facts).

Mixed in a salad of grilled zucchini and cherry or grape tomatoes, these leaves were amazing.  My good friend, Natalie (aka Perrys' Plate) also made this dish, and everyone who ate it (between both of our houses) LOVED it!  Seriously, we made it for company, teenage boys...they had seconds.  Honestly, how often do teenagers take seconds on salad?

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Purslane
adapted from Rio de Parras Organics

for the dressing:
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T finely chopped shallot or 1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 T olive oil (estimate)

4 medium-sized zucchini (about 2 lbs), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
12 oz purslane, thick stems removed (1 large or 2 small bunches)
a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan shavings (with a vegetable peeler) or shredded Parmesan (not the stuff in the green can)

Preheat the grill (or grill pan on stove) to medium high.  Grill the zucchini strips about 4-6 minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear and zucchini is tender (but don't let it get mushy).  Move to a cutting board and allow a few minutes to cool, then chop into bite-sized chunks.

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, Dijon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add oil slowly, in a steady stream, whisking until dressing thickens and becomes emulsified.

Toss everything together in a big bowl and serve immediately.

Sare's notes:
1. Purslane is hard to find, so try growing some.  Or, you could use baby spinach as a substitute.
2. I used various shades of orange, red, and yellow grape tomatoes, as well as yellow squash (grill it like the zucchini) to give the salad a little more color.

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