1 cup plain yogurt
1 medium garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb tomatoes
1 bunch purslane (use watercress or arugula)
1/2 cup cucamelons, or sliced cucumber
2-3 Australian finger lime (or 1 lime)
Make the garlic citrus yogurt. Mix the yogurt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, zest of the lemon, grated garlic clove (use a microplane or pound it in a mortar and pestle), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. It should be tangy, salty, and dressing-like. Place a few spoonfuls on a plate and use the back of the spoon to spread it in a circle.
Slice the tomatoes and cucamelon and arrange them on the plate on top of the yogurt sauce.
Wash the purslane by swishing it in a bowl of water. Remove the tough larger stems and cut them into small pieces. Place on top of the salad.
Cut open the finger limes and put the citrus caviar all over. If you don’t have finger limes (they’re a weird thing), squeeze lime juice over the vegetables. Season lightly with salt knowing that the yogurt has salt in it. Serve immediately.
I know this salad has a lot of unusual ingredients that you may not have heard of before. I was at the store and saw some of these things and decided to experiment. The point is to try new produce and ingredients and see if you like it. Purslane is an edible succulent that’s gotten pretty invasive here in California; it’s sold at some farmer’s markets. Cucamelons are small gherkins that taste like cucumbers but look like watermelon for hamsters. Finger limes are citrus where the vesicles look like caviar and have a good citrusy crunch to them. All together, it’s citrusy, refreshing with pops of intense flavor. Use what you have on hand to make a tasty summer salad.
The yogurt sauce is great on roast chicken, grilled pork chops, or vegetables. Use it to brighten up a dish or as a tasty dip. You can add chopped herbs as well. You can even thin it out with water, milk or buttermilk to turn it into a dressing.