Large bunches of semizotu (purslane) are found in every greengrocer and street market. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it’s used fresh or boiled in salads, added to soups and pastries.–Andy Harris


Large bunches of purslane, or semizotu as it is known in Istanbul, are found everywhere in Turkey, including gardens and street markets. Stateside, it’s often regarded as a weed and it’s likely the most nutritious and pleasantly citrusy-tasting weed you’ll ever encounter. Look for it at farmers markets as well as health food stores. It’s crazy rich in vitamins and minerals—not to mention an intriguing lemony smack. Serve this purslane salad and have all your guests wondering: What is that?

A bowl of purslane salad topped with yogurt and oil and a lemon wedge on the side, with a bowl of marinated tomatoes beside it.

Purslane Salad

5 / 2 votes
While Americans view purslane as a weed, most of the world loves the citrus-y plant and creates all sorts of purslane salads–such as this lovely dish from Turkey, which contains purslane, yogurt, lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Summer at its freshest.
David Leite
Servings2 servings
Calories148 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 1 bunch purslane or golden purslane, washed and trimmed (about 2 cups loosely packed purslane)
  • 3 tablespoons thick plain yogurt, preferably Greek
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small lemon


  • Place the purslane in a bowl. Add the yogurt and olive oil and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Squeeze the lemon half over the salad, mix well, and serve immediately.
Eat Istanbul Cookbook

Adapted From

Eat Istanbul

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 148 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 1 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 3 gCholesterol: 4 mgSodium: 19 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Andy Harris. Photo © 2015 David Loftus. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

As a happy weed-eating child of a Swedish mother and an Eagle Scout father, this purslane salad ranks right up there with my favorite recipes of all time. (I was pretty happy when Camilla Plum’s Seven Greens Salad came along, too!)

I’m a big purslane fan but have never really known what to do with it apart from nibbling on it or adding it to salads. I was delighted to see an actual recipe featuring this lovely powerhouse of a green. Though simple, this recipe uses a small number of ingredients to beautifully enhance the uniqueness of purslane.

Though the dressing was fairly minimal and the greens quite sturdy, I still feel this is a make-it-and-eat-it salad, not one to keep around. The greens shrunk a bit when dressed, and, if it sat for any length of time, I think the succulent nature of the purslane could begin to disappear.

I jumped at the chance to test this purslane salad because I have always known in my heart of hearts that I could actually eat this plant, but I’ve never picked the big fleshy leaves and given them a try. Here was my golden opportunity!

I picked about a half cup of good looking leaves (there are only two of us as testers here and I didn’t want to force feed anyone else) and measured them into a bowl. After everything was thoroughly mixed, I closed my eyes and took a forkful. Closed eyes? Yes, because I knew that if I looked at this I would start laughing. Not because it looked funny, but because I have been threatening to eat these plants and now I was doing it.

This salad has a really sharp, citrusy taste that is refreshing as well as startling. I am a lemon maniac, so to me it was just great. For my other taster, not so much BUT, all in all, I would say that this easy, quick, sparky salad is a great dish to offset heavy, dense tastes on your plate.

We were already thinking of ways to use it with various dishes—there are just too many good reasons to eat this to not come up with some fun other ways to do it! The only time-consuming thing about the recipe is picking the leaves from your garden and washing them. To actually get this from the prep stage to the table is less than 5 minutes. And worth the effort!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Egg Salad Without Mayo

Don’t let those leftover Easter eggs go to waste. This easy egg salad with caramelized onions is so lovely, you won’t even notice that there’s no mayo.

45 mins

Apple and Celery Salad

A simple and elegant salad that brightens up whatever you serve it alongside. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it’s a perfect accompaniment.

15 mins

Tangy Apple Slaw

This sweet and tangy apple slaw, made with crunchy cabbage and tart apples, is going to be a cookout staple all summer long.

20 mins

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I love purslane! You do not have to pick the leaves off. The stems are delicious and tender. Take purslane wash and put it on a cutting board, dice it up and slice lettuce. Mix with diced tomatoes, onions and grated carrots. Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Boy! What a delicious salad!