Over the years, some farmers have come to appreciate a harvest hidden in plain sight: weeds. While you don’t want them crowding out your crops, wild plants can be delicious as they are pervasive, and for citizens of the urban jungle, there’s something wonderful about feasting on foraged foods. This recipe from Mike Price at Market Table uses purslane, a summer succulent with crunchy, pink stems and fat, juicy leaves that has gotten so popular that, ironically, some farmers now actually order seeds and plant the widely prized “weed.”
If you can’t find purslane, this salad is also wonderful with another wild edible: watercress. Either way, you’ll love the pretty quick-pickled onions and creamy-tart feta. Best of all, the savory use of peaches lets you feast on the fruit before you even get to dessert.
small red onion, shaved into rounds
seasoned rice wine vinegar
diced bread, any kind -- from pullman to pumpernickel -- in 1/4-inch cubes
good extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
purslane, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
large ripe peaches
rough chopped herbs, such as dill, tarragon, chives, chervil, and parsley
In a small bowl, combine the shaved red onion, a pinch of sea salt, and the vinegar. Leave to marinate for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, make the croutons by tossing the cubed bread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 325° F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Once pickled, the onions will turn pink. Transfer them to a medium serving bowl, reserving the vinegar in the small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil into the vinegar to make a vinaigrette.
To the serving bowl, add the purslane, peaches, herbs, and feta. Dress with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly. Top with croutons and serve.