Purslane Cherry Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh Crumbs

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish), Salads, Vegetarian

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

I’m on my way to Chicago for no reason at all other than to hang out. How amazing is that?! I wish I could bottle up the feeling right before a trip. You’re running errands, packing, washing clothes, and while normally those are really lame things to do, it’s actually ultra fun when they’re for a vacation vs. normal life.

This salad has Memorial Day written all over it. It’s large format or whatever you want to call it. Basically, it’s a big-ass salad for hella ppl.

Do you have cherries yet? I feel like LA/California gets produce weeks (sometimes months!) before the rest of the country so it’s hard for me to gauge if this is a useful recipe or totally pointless. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

If this recipe is pointless for you, you can always replace the fresh cherries with dried. It’s still be delicious!

Let’s talk about freekeh because it might be the weirdo ingredient in this salad. I actually got the idea to use freekeh from Heidi’s post linking to this write-up. I was super intrigued so I picked some up at the bulk section of my local Whole Foods.

I cooked them exactly like I cook quinoa. And then dried them out and then fried them. CRISPY! They were bread crumb-like. They’re nutty yet sort of soft on the inside. I’d say they’re more similar to brown rice in consistency vs. farro or wheatberries.

They added really nice texture to this salad.

Look at this crunch!

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

If you can’t find purslane, which I usually find at farmer’s markets and Middle Eastern grocery stores, you can always replace it with baby spinach. It’ll be great.

I smothered lebneh (again, found at Middle Eastern grocery stores or you could use Greek yogurt) all over the base of my serving plate. Then I sprinkled a bunch of sumac all over because tartness is da best!

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

Then I piled everything super high. That’s it! Then I ate half the salad while standing in my kitchen while Amelia begged for a salad she probably wouldn’t like.

Hopefully your experience with this salad will be more civilized.

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

SIDE NOTE: Where should I shop in Chicago?! Is there anything I MUST do/eat/see?!

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Frekkeh

Purslane Cherry Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Frekkeh

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup freekeh
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cups purslane leaves, from about 3 bunches
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint, from about 15 leaves
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup lebneh
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 cup halved cherries, pitted (about 8 cherries)


  • In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, combine the freekeh, water and pinch of salt. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is evaporated and the frekkeh has bloomed. (If all the water hasn’t evaporated, pour through a sieve and press lightly.) Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to “dry” out for 1 hour.
  • In a small saucepan (you can use the one you cooked the freekeh in) or a small saute pan, set over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a few tablespoons of freekeh at a time, frying it up until crispy, stirring it occasionally, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the crispy freekeh to a bed of paper towels to drain. You’ll definitely have to add more oil as you work through the batch of freekeh. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. In a large bowl, toss together the purslane leaves, minced mint and cucumber. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil mixture over the salad and toss until the leaves are thoroughly coated. Add the reserved crispy freekeh and toss once more.
  • On a large serving plate or bowl, smear the lebneh all over the plate. Sprinkle with sumac. Arrange the salad on top and arrange the cherries all around. Serve immediately. This salad is served best right away. If you want to make it ahead, I’d make all of the components separately (crispy freekeh, salad mixture, dressing) and then toss them all together just before serving.


Here are some ideas if you can't find every ingredient in this salad:
Swap purslane with spinach
Swap lebneh with Greek yogurt
Swap Persian cucumber for hot house cucumber
Swap freekeh with brown rice or quinoa
If you don't have sumac, simply leave it out!
Serving: 4g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen


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  • Reply Tarin Lindsey May 22, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Wow it is a beautiful day for me with this lovely recipe.Your Purslane Cherry Salad is so yummy with this heavenly combination of Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh Crumbs . It looks delicious and nutritious and I love it. All I can say, this is totally perfect and for sure my family love this. I cannot wait to try and taste this healthy recipe. Feeling excited to serve this. Thanks for your sharing. Fabulous!

  • Reply Lissa May 21, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Lately I’ve been passionate about cherries, just don’t know what to do with them. I think your recipe gave me a great idea. Thank you for your post.

  • Reply Angie May 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Hope you enjoy your time in Chicago! I hope you visit these two bookstores, and maybe for the next cookbook you write, you can do book signings there! The bookstores are The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, and Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville (Naperville is a suburb of Chicago). Enjoy!

  • Reply Mary Frances May 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Yum!! The salad looks so delicious and flavorful! Cherries are perfect for this time of year.

  • Reply inteligentny_dom May 21, 2015 at 5:27 am

    That salad is something completely new for me, I would never think about something like this! I think I should try this recipe some day 🙂

  • Reply Linda May 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    If you have time, you MUST go to the Museum of Science and Industry! It was my favorite place to go when I lived there (before you were born…lol). And wherever you go, be sure to send pictures. 😎

  • Reply Denisse | Le Petit Eats May 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I live in Cali and have been scarfing cherries by the pound the last couple of weeks, we’re so lucky- except for the cherry juice stained shirts lol!

    I love everything about this salad, especially the freekeh crispies! literally cannot wait to make this.

  • Reply todd wagner May 20, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Yay, I love prepping for trips! And I agree, we are spoiled with our wonderful produce here in California. Have fun in Chicago! I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to hearing your recommendations.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

      This is my first time. I’m excited! If I eat at enough places, I might do a lil’ guide. 🙂

  • Reply Emma May 20, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Come shop at Handle With Care in Old Town – one of the oldest boutiques in Chicago! Tons of antique and secondhand shopping in Wicker Park, and Lincoln Park (near Armitage and Halsted) has great unique little boutiques and cafes.
    Best areas for food: Wicker Park (Big Star, Carriage House, Bangers & Lace), and River North (Siena Tavern, Franklin Room, Oak + Char)

  • Reply Arthur in the Garden! May 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Lovely! My friends think I am crazy because I eat flowers and such—and the stems from broccoli!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 20, 2015 at 10:26 am

      People usually throw away broccoli stems but if you slice them thinly, they’re so good!

  • Reply S Lauren | Modern Granola May 20, 2015 at 8:46 am

    This is gorgeous. I love how you spread the lebneh on the plate first. It looks so elegant, but also makes sense when serving. I’m psyched to make this, I’ve never tried purslane or freekah before!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Thank you! You’ll probably really like purslane. It’s a little tart and sweet.

  • Reply erin {yummy supper} May 20, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Adrianna, this salad is so frickin’ gorgeous I can hardly stand it. Purslane and cherries? Awesome!
    Have fun in Chicago!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 20, 2015 at 4:38 am

    This sounds awesome! Perfect for summer!