Ingredient Profile: Cucumber by VegFusion

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Ingredient Profile: Cucumber by VegFusion Cucumber is popular around the world for its fresh, cooling properties. Fresh cucumber is combined with yoghurt in India called raita, mixed with yoghurt and garlic in Turkey and Greece as a dip called Cacık … Continue reading

Ingredient Profile: Purslane or Green Purslane

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) comes from Portulaceae family and has many names like green purslane, pigweed, portulaca, kitchen-garden purslane, poor man’s spinach and munyeroo (Aboriginal term).

purslanePurslane is considered as a weed by many farmers. However, it is an edible succulent with a chewy texture and a mild, slightly lemony taste. Depending on the variety, the leaves can be very fleshy, too –like juicier cuisine of lamb’s lettuce.

Selection and Storage
Purslane is a delicate creature. So buy it only a day or two before you use it. Because it won’t last long –even in the fridge. Choose purslane with bright green leaves. Seal it in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable crisper at the bottom of your fridge.

purslaneVarietals
• Wild purslane
• Asgen
• Partulaca
• Vilmoin

Where to Use
Salads: Purslane is widely used as a raw salad ingredient in countries like Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Armenia and Syria. Purslane Salad with Yoghurt or Yoğurtlu Semizotu Salatası from Turkish cuisine and the famous Middle Eastern salad Fatoush are great examples.

Stews: In Turkish cuisine, there is a vegetarian stew featuring purslane and it’s called Zeytinyağlı Semizotu. There is a variation of it with rice, too.

Soups: Purslane is one of the main ingredients in the French soup called ‘bonne femme’ mostly for its gelling, binding, thickening effect. Very much like okra.

Complimentary Flavours
Purslane goes particularly well with these ingredients:
• Oregano
• Yoghurt
• Basil
• Garlic
• Flat-leaf parsley
• Bay leaves
• Cucumber
• Chervil
• Chilli flakes
• Parsley
• Onion and spring onion (scallions)
• Thyme
• Nutmeg
• Chickory
• Cheeses like feta or halloumi
• Tarragon
• Watercress
• Chives

Nutrition
Purslane is a good source of iron, vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium and one of the best plant sources of the Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredient Profile: Broccoli

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Ingredient Profile: Broccoli Broccoli –botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica—comes from the highly nutritious Brassica family and considered to be a cruciferous vegetable. Brassica family also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach and chard. Origin Broccoli is originated from Italy more … Continue reading

Fruit Profile: Pomegranates

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Fruit Profile: Pomegranates Pomegranates are a member of the Punicaceas family. Its name comes from the French words “pomme garnete”, meaning seeded apple. Every pomegranate fruit is composed of a rind, inner membrane and seeds. Seeds are covered with juicy, … Continue reading

Ingredient Profile: Garlic

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Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the Liliaceae family –the same family of onion, leek, chives and shallot. It is also known as poor man’s treacle, clown’s treacle, stinking rose, heal-all and rustic’s treacle. Being one of the oldest … Continue reading

Ingredient Profile: Tomatoes

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Vegetable Profile: Tomatoes Origin of Tomatoes Tomatoes are native to Central America and had been brought to Europe by the Spaniards. However, Europeans initially thought that they were poisonous so they did not gain popularity for quite some time. They … Continue reading

Turkish Pepper Paste (Biber Salçası)

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Turkish Pepper Paste or Biber Salçası Some like it hot, some like it sweet. Whichever you prefer, Turkish Pepper Paste (Biber Salçası) is the ultimate ingredient of every Turkish pantry. Turkish Pepper Paste (Biber Salçası) –also called kırmızı biber salçası … Continue reading

A Harbinger of Spring: Asparagus

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A Harbinger of Spring: Asparagus  Asparagus is a tender stem vegetable belonging to the Asparagaceae family which is closely related to Liliaceae plants like garlic and onion. With its mildly pungent flavour, it has been recognised as a prized delicacy … Continue reading