For the pickled cherries: Combine 1/2 cup water, vinegar, 4 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons agave nectar. Submerge seeded cherries and set aside for at least 2 hours or overnight
For the spicy candied sunflower seeds: To make your own: Combine equal parts Szechuan peppercorns, sesame seed, hemp seed, poppy seed, dried orange peel, crushed roasted nori, and crushed dried hot chile peppers. Substitutes: nanami togarashi.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine sunflower seeds with 1/2 teaspoon T.O. spice and 2 tablespoons agave. Mix thoroughly and bake on a lightly oiled parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Check and stir every 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Ginger-Pineapple Sage Dressing: In a saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil, add the pineapple sage and steep 10 minutes.
In a blender combine the sage water, tahini, ginger, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, in a blender and puree until smooth. You can adjust consistency by adding a little water, if necessary.
To plate: Toss the purslane in the dressing, reserving enough to finish the plate. Place the purslane in the center of the plate. Add beets, fennel, pickled cherries, and peppercress, finish with the sunflower seeds and a drizzle of the dressing.
*Can be found at specialty Asian markets. T.O. spice blend is usually orange peel, pepper, chile, sesame and a couple of other things. We always find it easily at Asian markets. There are several different brands of it too. From the Food Network Test Kitchens: Shichimi togarashi. Pronunciation: shee-CHEE-mee toh-guh-RAH-shee. Shichimi togarashi is a mix of seven spices that's often sprinkled on soups and noodles.
Recipe courtesy of Colin Patterson