Samphire: love it or loath it?

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!



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