A recipe from the Politiki Kouzina
Purslane/ Ανδρακλή / Γλιστρίδες / Ξινίθρες – is a green often considered a weed in gardens and erroneously discarded. When my parents-in-law lived in Istanbul, Romani people collected purslane and wild weeds like chickory and “lapata” from the hillsides outside Istanbul. They walked through the neighbourhoods of Istanbul with baskets filled with the greens and sold them to the locals.
The purslane was used in green salads and in a tzatziki-like dip, where the grated cucumber is substituted with purslane and it was also used in cooked dishes. They cooked a dish called Ξινίθρες με Κιμά / Xinithres me Κima / Purslane with Mince. The purslane is braised in a tomato-based stock with beef mince. The dish is light and herby, with an “al dente” quality to the purslane.
Fast-forward 60+ years, we now collect the purslane that grows here and there in our garden and deliver it to my in-laws, who very generously return it to us transformed into this light, nutritious and delicious dish!
Are you ready to eat your garden weeds?
Stella & Ilya’s Purslane with Beef Mince
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 400 g canned diced tomatoes
- ½-2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 kg purslane, thick stalks removed, cut into small florettes
Preparing the purslane with beef mince
Add oil, mince and pepper to a large pot
Cook on medium-high heat, while pushing down on the mince with a wooden spoon to help break it down
Continue mixing and pushing down on the mince until it browns
Add the diced onion and cook till the onion softens a little
Add the diced tomatoes, salt and sugar and mix through
Cook for 3-4 minutes with an unvented lid on the pot
Add the purslane to the pot – you may need to do this in stages if your pot is not big enough to take all of the purslane at once – see video
Allow the purslane to cook for 2-3 minutes, before gently stirring it through the tomato/mince mixture
Cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring gently half way through
Check the purslane is “al dente” before taking the pot off heat
Serving the purslane with beef mince
Serve with a chunk of feta and crusty bread