Marsh Samphire

Although not within sight of the Sugarloaf Mountain, some ‘loafers recently had the good fortune to come across some delicious Atlantic Marsh Samphire whilst swanning around the south coast…In the marsh!

This fab sea vegetable is in season for the next few weeks, and is widely enough distributed in  salty marshes along the South and Southwest coasts.

Seen here “in flower”, you can just about see the single red stamens at the tip of each fleshy segment. Most of the plants we came across were between 6-8″ high and indiviual plants, but it can grow up to 1 ft tall and be quite bushy.  

Previously it was taken with the root attached, but ( sensibly) now it is recommended to cut or snip with a scissors a few of the fronds, leaving most of the plant intact. This will allow re-growth, and some for the next foreshore forager lucky enough to come across it!Cut with a sharp knife... leaving most behind on the stem!

We nibbled some of the smaller shoots just as they were, in the marsh and again, back at base. A little salty to taste initially, but very moist, fleshy and with a hint of iodine! We then weighed our two hours forage, and prepared to cook some!The Haul

A gentle boil in fresh water for 8 minutes left the Samphire a deep green colour with it’s texture somewhat softened. Drained and scattered with nibs of butter, the technique involves pulling them through your teeth by the stem, and this strips the luscious fleshy body from the slightly stringy stem.
Although often referred to as ” The Poor Man’s Asparagus”, we found it delicately spinnachy in flavour, with a hint of iodine and a very refreshing taste of the sea.Think of it as a sea vegetable souvlaki...  A Summer treat not to be passed on if you get the chance!


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