Beetroot, feta and purslane salad

Beetroot, feta and purslane salad

Cairo Kitchen
Jonathan Gregson

Purslane is considered a weed by some gardeners, but it is actually packed with vitamins and iron. It was highly esteemed by the ancient Egyptians and cultivated as a salad herb in Europe as far back as the Middle Ages. As it grows wild and is not commonly sold in stores, it can be hard to come by. However, if you do find some, it is well worth trying and can be eaten as a vegetable (much like spinach) or in a salad. Its leaves are strong so do not wilt when tossed in a vinaigrette and it has a tangy lemony flavour. White balsamic vinegar has a mildly sweet flavour so it goes nicely with the beetroot. If white balsamic is not available, use dark instead.


Quantity Ingredient
8 beetroots
300g purslane leaves or rocket
4 tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped
200g feta cheese, cut into cubes
4 spring onions, sliced

For the vinaigrette

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the vinaigrette, combine the pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, in a bowl, then slowly stir in the oil with a whisk.
  2. In a large pan of boiling water, simmer the beetroots for about an hour or until tender, then peel when cool enough to handle, chop into large cubes and set aside to cool.
  3. Dress the beetroots in the vinaigrette, tossing well. Let stand for half an hour.
  4. Toast the pistachios by placing in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and stirring for a few minutes until they turn golden brown.
  5. To assemble the salad, place the purslane in a large bowl and arrange the beetroots in the centre. Drizzle any remaining dressing on the purslane leaves and top with the feta, spring onions and pistachios.
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