Appetizers & Salads

Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Meet purslane. It is a weed, but a good one. Purslane has succulent fleshy leaves and stems with a slightly acidic flavor close to that of spinach and watercress. This leafy vegetable is offers some neat health benefits; it features in itself Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B, as well as important dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. It can be fried, sauteed, pickled (favorite in Azerbaijan) and in its raw form it can be used to make this delicious salad from Turkey.

Fresh Purslane

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Sautéed Mushrooms – Not your usual kind

Sautéed Mushrooms – Not your usual kind

Sauteed Mushrooms

I love love mushrooms. I am a mushroom lover in the family. Kid are not big fans. Sadly, albeit my numerous experiments and attempts to fancy up kid-friendly mushroom dishes a.k.a disguise mushrooms to the point that that kids wouldn’t notice, my efforts have not paid off so far  -  kids still frown upon anything mushroom. Things are a bit different with M though. He wasn’t a big fan either. Until I converted him. With the help of sautéed mushrooms. But make no mistake  - this is not your usual kind of sautéed mushrooms.This recipe, my friends, will convert even a hard-core mushroom hater as it is absolutely beyond delicious and unusual.  In fact, so far this is the best recipe for sautéed mushrooms I have ever tried! It comes from one of my favorite chefs, Michael Chiarello.

So what is so unusual about this recipe? First, it is that when mushrooms are tossed into the heated pan with oil, they  do not release their juice and to not become soggy as I’ve seen in many recipes. Trick? You layer the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan and do not stir until one side is caramelized! In this case, the juices are trapped inside and the mushrooms do not steam. You can go ahead and toss them once the caramelization is complete – no worries, no juice or minimal juice will be released.

Then you toss the mushrooms with garlic, thyme, lemon juice, wine and parsley, oh my! The delectable flavors will blend and the inviting aroma will ooze. A hard-core mushroom hater, if you have one in the family (maybe not kids yet) will run into the kitchen saying, “Something smells good!” Bingo. He/she is officially a mushroom lover. Enjoy!

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