Purslane Potato Salad

Everyone has one - that never-fail dish they take to every picnic, potluck, party, and event. Over the last summer, purslane potato salad filled that roll for me. It is a great way to introduce people to the lemony crunch of purslane, as it is delivered in a familiar package - a tastebud-friendly potato salad.

Beside the purslane, this salad has a secret ingredient not many would guess - pickle juice. Pickle juice adds an unexpected zip to the potato salad. Use whatever kind of pickle juice you enjoy. Detouring away from the usual mayo-sodden picnic fare, purslane potato salad is light and bright, and pretty, too.

Purslane Potato Salad

2 lbs. waxy potatoes, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 c. pickle juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 c. chopped purslane
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
lemon juice

1. Begin by placing the sliced onions in a bowl of very cold water.

2. Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water (I probably dump in something like a tablespoon of salt. You could use less if you please, but it helped to season the potatoes evenly) and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat low enough so that the water doesn't bubble over, and let the potatoes cook until you can easily pierce them with a knife or fork.

3. Drain the onions and place them at the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

4. Drain the potatoes, then dump them on top of the onions. This step, along with the cold water soak, ensures that the onions will be mild and sweet.

5. Drizzle the pickle juice over the hot potatoes, one tablespoon at a time, until it appears that it is starting to pool in the bottom of the dish. The potatoes will suck up a good portion of the pickle juice, and what remains at the bottom of the bowl will help to make a dressing.

6. Pour the olive oil over the potatoes and onion, then use a big spoon to turn them all over to get evenly coated with the oil.

7. Let the potatoes continue to cool for 20 minutes, then refrigerate them until they are cold.

8. Add the chopped purslane and chopped dill to the potato salad, and toss them around. Have a taste. If needed, add more salt and/or a bit of lemon juice to finish the salad.

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