Maybe it’s hereditary, but my son has already been to the Carmel market twice in his short life. Most recently, my parents strolled the neighboring streets with him while I ran through the shook, trying to cram as much beautiful produce into my cart as possible until time ran out and the kid got cranky — which happened after all of 20 minutes. I guess he wasn’t overly impressed by all the beautiful apricots (lots of jam!) and cherries (lovely snack food!) I was picking up. Oh well, he’ll learn. I hope.
When facing time (or weight) limits while shopping in the shook, I prioritize — fresh fruit and leafy greens. These are both things you can’t really get at the grocery store — it probably doesn’t have such a broad selection of fruit, and even if it does, it probably costs too much to buy the quantities I like. And greens — you simply won’t find greens like those in the shook. Big, handsome bunches of herbs like basil and arugula, unusually delicate green onions and seasonal specials like purslane.
Following a discussion with cookbook author Faye Levy, my mind was on purslane, a succulent, lemony summer herb that’s just coming into season. My greengrocer had a single bunch, and I snapped it up.
That evening, I whipped it into this super-simple salad, which my husband particularly liked. The lemon juice boosts the lemony purslane, while the pomegranate syrup adds sweetness and the wheat bulgur makes it just a bit more filling.
For about 2 cups worth:
- 1/2 cup large bulgur
- 250 grams fresh purslane (about half a big bunch)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch cinnamon and nutmeg
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.
Cover the bulgur in boiling water — it should be under about 2 centimeters of water, to make sure it has room to expand. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so.
Chop the purslane, discarding any overly thick stems. Drain the extra water from the bulgur, and mix the bulgur with the purslane, the pomegranate syrup, the lemon and the spices. Serve.