Purslane With Rice (Pirinçli Semizotu)





Long before Dr Mehmet Öz, aka Dr. Oz, started to appear on morning shows on Turkish TV channels and regularly on Oprah to talk about healthy eating habits with a great emphasis on purslane (surprisingly rich in Omega 3 fatty acids), the weed frequented Turkish tables in dishes and salads all summer long. If Dr. Oz's advice on healthy food triggered interest in purslane in Turkey, it also caused inflation in purslane prices. A couple of summers ago on questioning a sudden increase of purslane prices, just out of pure curiosity not by any reluctance to pay, I was almost scolded by a vendor at my hometown's farmer's market back in Turkey: "Mam, even Dr. Mehmet Öz appreciates purslane, why don't you?" I always have and especially do now here in the States, where it's relatively harder to find it. We're lucky here in Northern California that purslane is available at farmer's markets.   Sometimes it is called purslane and sometimes it is called in its Spanish name "verdolaga."  Purslane is a weed and can easily grow anywhere under any condition. If you can get our hands on purslane seeds, do plant them and you won't regret. 


























~1 lb purslane (aka verdolaga)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp rice or bulgur or quinoa 
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
juice of half lemon
1/3 cup water
optional1 jalapeno, finely choppedor 2 tsp crushed spicy peppers 



-Wash purslane well and chop it into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. You don't need to discard the stems.
-Heat olive oil in a wide pot. Stir in onion and garlic. Cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.-If you're spicing your purslane up with mighty jalapenos or some other hot peppers add them now and cook for 1-2 minutes. 
-Add purslane/verdolaga. Stir a couple of times until wilted.
-Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and water.
-When it starts boiling, add rice (or whatever grain you're using but make sure it's something that wouldn't take too long to cook such as brown rice) and turn the heat down to low.
-Cover and simmer until rice is cooked.
-Serve warm or cold with garlicy yogurt (for garlicy yogurt mix 1 clove of minced garlic per 1 cup of yogurt with a dash of salt) on the side.


ps: if you are not very enthusiastic about green leafy vegetables, there's big chance you won't like purslane with its crunchy stems and tangy taste.http://mostly almost turkish recipes/www./atom.php