Baa’leh (purslane) is a secret herb of Lebanese cuisine. Its “meaty” leaves, “iron-y” taste, and dark green color make it very special. The closest you can get to purslane (if you can’t find it) is watercress (watercress is more watery, more fragile, and less flavorful). The best baa’leh is the wild one that covers the orchards in early spring—its smaller leaves are a concentrate of what baa’leh is! The beets are a perfect companion to purslane, complementing the green with their deep red color and sweet flavor.
- 18 ounces (500 g) beets
- 2 bunches purslane
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
- Kamal Mouzawak
Boil the beets in a medium pot with enough water to cover until cooked and tender (which takes about an hour). Let cool, then peel, cut into chunks, and place in a bowl. Add the purslane, tearing the leaves into pieces.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt to taste. Drizzle over the purslane and beets, and serve.