Pariani Salata with Purslane

If you’ve visited the Greek islands but you haven’t been to the island of Paros, you’re missing out. Voted in 2018 the no.1 island of Europe and the no.1 island in the world, Paros has the most beautiful beaches, the most mouth watering food and the most breathtaking landscape and village views. In Paros it is difficult to choose which is the most beautiful village as they are all so unique and it is even more difficult to choose which beach to swim at as all are crystal clear with golden fine sand. What has Paros got to do with this salad? 

My father was born on the island of Paros and so it is close to my heart. We have visited several times and always leave with a heavy heart wishing we could stay just that little bit longer. My brother visits every year and upon his most recent return he asked me whether I had tried the “Pariani Salata” at the local tavern. I looked at him and said, “the what salad?” 

I couldn’t believe I had never seen or ordered this mouth watering salad before. It isn’t even a salad! It’s more like a wholefood complete meal that is so satisfying; you won’t need to order anything else.  

So what did I do? I made him whats app me the photo he took, write what the ingredients were and describe to me what it tasted like. This is it. Holy moly I am in love! The combination of fresh greens, tangy red onion, creamy potatoes and beans, sweet tomatoes and salty onions is enough to make even the most expert of tastebuds explode! But what makes this salad stand out is the purslane, which we call ‘glistrida’.

The moisture rich leaves are crispy with a lemony tang and peppery kick somewhat similar to rocket. It adds such a wonderful flavour and marries so beautifully with the rest of the ingredients that it makes it the kind of meal you don’t take a breathe between each spoonful. I promise you, if you make this, you won’t be sharing it with the rest of the family! But I must ask a favour; DO NOT skimp on that EVOO, lemon juice and sea salt. Greeks use a lot of it and that is what makes it so sensationally tasty. Enjoy x

Serves 4

1 cup purslane, washed and dried 

(Optional to use baby rocket if you can’t find purslane)

1 cup white beans or black eye beans

1 yellow capsicum, diced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3 ripe tomatoes cut into eighths

2-3 large potatoes, diced, boil in salted water until soft and about to fall apart 

16 kalamata olives

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper

1. Soak beans overnight, drain and boil for 15 minutes in water. Add a tablespoon of olive oil while boiling. Drain and allow to cook. 2. In the meantime, boil the potatoes in salted water until we’ll cooked and fluffy. Drain and allow to cook for 15 minutes. 3. Combine all salad ingredients on a large platter (not a deep salad bowl) and season well. 4. In a bowl combine the oil and lemon juice and whisk with a fork. Pour over the entire salad.

5. Enjoy as a warm salad or cold after storing in refrigerator.

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