Here’s a super salad dressing that makes even the simplest plate of greens memorable.
Walnut oil lends the salad a light nutty flavor and blends well with watercress, Belgian endive and postelein. Postelein is the Dutch name for winter purslane or miner’s lettuce; a delicious but often overlooked wild green, resembling tiny lily pads and having a similarity to young baby spinach in taste. The leaves are tender, juicy, and succulent and both the stems and leaves can be used raw in salads.
Not only is it gorgeous looking, it’s been said to be one of the most nutrient rich greens on earth! According to researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio, it actually has the highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant. They also reported that this herb has 10 to 20 times more melatonin — a hormone naturally released in our body that helps regulate sleep and natural body rhythms — than any other fruit or vegetable tested and amazingly enough, it is also getting the spotlight for its cancer prevention properties and ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Some herbalists believe that these delicious wild greens naturally grow at this time of year so that we can gather them and use them to cleanse the body. In Germany, they can be found in season from February to May (June if we are lucky) — perfect for starting a spring cleanse! Look for it at the famers market or organic food markets.
Added bonus: One cup of purslane provide 100% of the vitamin E you need for an entire day! Together with walnut oil, the effects of the other nutrients is boosted even more. Great news for helping us keep healthy, glowing skin!
Winter Purslane Salad with Belgium Endive
For the salad:
- 4 handfuls winter purslane, miner's lettuce roots and thick stems trimmed, or substitute with lamb's lettuce (Mâche)
- 3 heads Belgium endive, chopped
For the vinaigrette:
- 8 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil until well combined. season with salt and pepper.
Lightly toss dressing with the delicate greens and serve.
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