white peach and purslane salad

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The only indication of summer in these parts is the bounty spilling out of the markets right now. It’s been a little foggy and cool the past few days here in the Bay. But we’ve got melons and tomatoes and corn and squash and all sorts of fantastic stonefruits to remind us that summer is in full swing. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been going a little overboard with my produce purchases.

As a result, there have been lots of salads happening here. A couple of weekends ago, I packed a picnic basket full of salads and a bottle of rosé and headed to the park to hang with friends and see the SF Symphony. Now that felt like summer.

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I tend to follow a simple formula when making salads for myself at home. Start with something green and leafy, add seasonal fruit (think figs, peaches, apricots, or cherries for summer), a little bit of cheese for protein and a savory element, toasted nuts or seeds for crunch, and a light vinaigrette to tie it all together.

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Purslane is a new-to-me green. I’d noticed it at the markets, but never thought much about it. So I recognized it instantly in a beet salad I ordered at dinner a few months ago and took quite a liking to it. It has a somewhat unusual texture – smooth, heavy-ish leaves with crisp stems. I picked some up at the market the next day and have been buying it weekly ever since. I did a little research on the interwebs and it turns out that purslane grows like weeds. Like it’s literally a weed. The forager in me loves this. As a matter of fact, I’m now convinced that I must grow my own. I’ll let you know how that goes.

So, a salad of purslane with perfect, juicy white peaches is kind of my obsession this season. I cannot get enough. Some toasted walnuts and crumbles of feta are excellent toppers.  So simple and so good.

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white peach and purslane salad

serves 2

2 heaping handfuls of purslane  (or your choice of greens – spinach, baby greens, etc.)

1 large ripe white peach, sliced

1/2 cup toasted walnuts 

1/4 cup crumbled feta (crumbled blue cheese is also nice)

2 -1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

In a large salad or mixing bowl, combine purslane and peach slices. Set aside.

Pour vinegar in a small bowl. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add olive oil to the vinegar and continue until all oil has been added and the mixture is emulsified. Add additional salt or pepper to taste.

Pour vinaigrette over the purslane and peaches. Toss gently until leaves and fruit are lightly coated. Add walnuts and feta and give one more toss before dividing between salad plates. Serve immediately.

Oahu, I love you! Let’s eat!

Oh, Oahu. I do love you! I was so sad to leave you. I felt like one of those little kids you see at Disneyland, kicking and screaming and rolling on the ground because they’re not ready for the fun to end. It was a perfect vacation, although much too short. I definitely could have used a few more days of sunshine and waking up to a view of the ocean.

My little brother was an awesome tour guide and shuttled us all over Oahu. We snorkeled, we explored, we chilled on the beach. But most importantly, we ate our way around the island. Here are some of the highlights, all shot with Instagram.

Warm malasadas from Leonard’s. Fried, cloud-like puffs of dough rolled in granulated sugar. The chocolate-filled are my favorite. We managed to eat malasadas twice during our short visit, and I secretly wanted to make one last stop at Leonard’s before we headed home.

You haven’t lived until you’ve had the shrimp scampi at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Juicy, perfectly cooked, and finger-licking good. I am going to have dreams about those shrimp for days.

Shave ice from Matsumoto’s. This is nothing like the snow cones I ate as a child. This stuff is super-duper. It’s like fresh snow, more powdery than icy, drenched in the fruity flavors of your choice (I went with the tropical combo – passion fruit, guava, and papaya). And if you really want to indulge, you can have your shave ice over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a drizzle of condensed milk. It’s kind of like a 50/50 bar in a paper cone – fruity, icy, and creamy. The most amazing treat on a hot day.


This is what I call a Real Hawaiian breakfast: Spam and eggs over rice at Zippy’s. I rarely eat Spam in my real life, with the exception of a musubi once or twice a year. But I found myself eating spam and eggs for breakfast two days in a row at two different restaurants. As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

I wasn’t even hungry when I arrived at Shirokiya. But when I spotted Takoyaki Yama Chan in the food court, I got in line. Takoyaki is a dumpling-like ball of batter, filled with pieces of octopus or other seafood. It is laboriously prepared in spherical cast iron molds in small batches. At Yama Chan, it’s a bit of a celebration each time a hot batch is ready to be served – there is shouting and the banging of a drum involved. The takoyaki is definitely worthy of the commotion.

We had lunch at Nico’s Pier 38 on our way to the airport. I would’ve been happy with pretty much anything on their menu, including the selection of pokes in their deli. Shrimp gumbo, fish tacos, and a cold beer was the perfect ending to a really fantastic trip. I cannot wait to go back. Aloha!