Vegetable of the Week, Samphire, Marsh Grass, Sea Asparagus

The noun vegetable indicates an edible plant or part of a plant, but frequently rules out seeds and generally sweet fruit, this in general means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant.

In a non-biological sense, the consequence of this word is in the main founded on culinary and cultural belief therefore, the use of the word is to some extent random and skewed. For example, some people believe mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not biologically plants; they are fungi while others consider them a separate food category.

Anyway enough of all that let’s get to the vegetable of the week!

Samphire, little nodules of sweet, salty, tasty flesh

Samphire or Salicorne (Latin) is also known as Glasswort, Marsh Grass, Sea Beans, and Sea Asparagus it is a sea vegetable which can be found growing in abundance on shorelines, marshy shallows and on salty mudflats and along with Sea Purslane is very popular with coastal foragers.

You can collect it for free along a number of beaches in the British Isles.

It is has a crisp texture and salty flavour and tastes of, well it tastes of the sea. Traditionally, it is a vegetable that is served with fish and good fishmongers will sell samphire starting around June until August.

Best British Season Is;

June to August although in some years that can be pushed to September

Buying Samphire, Marsh Grass, Sea Asparagus

Look for intense green fresh looking plants with no signs of drooping.

Storing Samphire, Marsh Grass, Sea Asparagus

Buy or pick samphire as you need it, it doesn’t keep very long.

If you have to store it wrap it tightly in clingfilm or better yet an airtight box and keep it in the salad/vegetable drawer in the fridge for no longer than a 3 days.

Preparing and Cooking Samphire, Marsh Grass, Sea Asparagus

As Samphire is a product of the sea make sure that you wash it completely under running water and don’t add salt to the cooking water it’s from the sea remember and is already salty enough.

We like serve it fresh in salads or steamed over a pan of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and serve it with loads of melted butter.

The flesh should be eaten leaving the stringy central core its quite fun just to suck of the meaty flesh from the core.

In general you’ll find samphire served with fish, but it also works amazingly well with tasty tender Spring Lamb.

Why not try making a scrumptious spring salad of warm steamed samphire and new potatoes tossed all together with olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper.

Why Not Try This Recipe from Dazdiggler on MyDish;

Sea Bass with A Sweet Chilli Emulsion and Samphire Grass

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One thought on “Vegetable of the Week, Samphire, Marsh Grass, Sea Asparagus

  1. Conor Bofin June 13, 2012 at 21:29

    Down on the south coast of France, it grows in abundance on the salt marshes. Fantastic quickly wok fried with garlic and served with BBQ fish. I will be down there in a month. Can’t wait.


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