Samphire is one of those foods that is a real treat to most food lovers, but totally alien to others.
It looks like green coral, I suppose, and can be found on the seashore and marshes around the coast.
It is a wild vegetable and free!
The revival of the fish trade around the Kent/Sussex coast supplying restaurant kitchens + High Street fishmongers in London has led to samphire enjoying a mini renaissance.
Samphire was very popular in Victorian times and the plants were boiled or pickled.
It’s quite difficult to describe samphire’s taste: I’d say it is a bit like like spinach crossed with a taste of the sea. The texture is pleasingly crunchy.
Expect to pay around £10 per kilo.
I used 500g of samphire last night as a side vegetable dish for 3 (quite greedy) eaters, but a little would go a long way if you use samphire as an ingredient in a recipe.
Just wash in cold water and remove any discoloured and woody stalks.
Then blanch briefly in boiling water, drain and serve.
I added a small knob of delicious beurre d’Isigny and plenty of freshly ground pepper; you’ll probably find you won’t need to add salt as samphire has a naturally slightly salty taste.
Blanched samphire would also work a treat in a salad with fresh crab or smoked trout, fresh peas, peashoots + a mustardy dressing.
Or try adding it to a nice piece of fish cooked “en papillotte” with a few cockles, white wine + butter.
I am interested in your samphire recipes and, if you are new to samphire, what you think of it.
Love it or loathe it?
Also, I am keen to make the most of the plentiful supply of elderflowers at the moment and I am looking for recipes other than the ubiquitous cordial and sorbet.
So do get in touch – I look forward to receiving your comments.
Happy days of summer!