Samphire is a sea vegetable in the parsley family that grows by the sea on cliffs and rocks. There are two types of samphire, rock and marsh. The marsh samphire can be found widely available and looks similar to baby asparagus. It has a tasty and crisp taste with vibrant green stalks. The rock samphire has a flavor and smell that is unpleasant and can be found in Europe. Samphire is popular in most fish entrees or can be eaten raw in a salad.
Samphire is also known as the “poor man’s asparagus” and can go by the names of pickleweed, sea grass and glasswort. In Turkey, it is seemed and eaten as a meze, tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Samphire can also be pickled in jars.
There are many health benefits to eating samphire. It contains rich vitamins of A, B and C, it aids digestion and helps to treat obesity. Samphire can also improve your mood, make you more alert and helps with concentration and visual clarity. Another health benefit is that it has no saturated fat or cholesterol and is good for vegans and vegetarians.
Samphire is a rare type of vegetable in nature. If you haven’t tried samphire before, then these 5 recipes are great to get you started. If you are not too found of samphire, then asparagus would be the best alternative.
1. Turkish Steamed Samphire with Olive Oil and Garlic (via About.com)
2. Scallop and Samphire Tagliarini (via HuffingtonPost)
3. Samphire and Crab Salad (via Samphire.org.uk)
4. Pan Fried Salmon with Warm Samphire and Tomato Salad (via Homemade with Mess)
5. Samphire, Potato and Pea Soup (via TheJC.com)
Samphire should be purchased as you need it. It can be tightly wrapped to be placed in the refrigerator, but should be used quickly as it doesn’t last long.
The best time that samphire is available is in July and August because it is a seasonal vegetable. The plant should be bright, fresh looking and no signs of wilting.
The easiest way to cook samphire is to steam it over a pan of boiling water for a few minutes. It can then be served with melted butter.
What do you think about this rare sea vegetable?