That’s Bloody Brilliant: Samphire // Sea Beans Recipe
Samphire is a crisp, salty summer vegetable that grows at the edges of marshland in England and on both coasts of the United States (among numerous other places I could have run into it in the past, but didn’t). The minute I saw it on the shelf, I knew it was something special. This simple recipe lets it shine.
Head over heels for a marsh vegetable
The minute I saw samphire on the shelf, I knew it was something special. I knew we would have a moment, samphire and me. I knew that samphire by any other name would taste as salty. (And it’s a darn good thing, too, because samphire has a string of aliases. Salicornia, sea beans, saltwort and glasswort, to name just a few.
It is so like me to fall head over heels for a marsh vegetable.
How to find and cook samphire
In late summer, if you’re lucky, you may be able to find samphire at your local fish market or farmers’ market — or, in the U.K., even at your local grocery store if you pick one that’s a little on the funky and bi-curious side. And if you’re the adventurous type, you can pick it right out of the marshlands or grow it in your garden. Samphire is quite salty, so don’t add extra salt. (And that’s coming from someone who used to dream of having a deer-style salt lick in her room as a kid.) Once it’s home, eat it within a day or two if you can, cooked just fleetingly, as in the recipe below.
Want to learn more about marsh samphire? Check out:
- 5 ounces (about 150 grams) marsh samphire
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Bring about two inches of unsalted water to a boil in a medium pot.
- Rinse the samphire well and add it to the boiling water for one minute.
- Drain into a colander. (If you want the samphire to retain a bright green color and slightly crisper texture, you can shock it in a bowl of ice water and drain again.)
- Toss with the butter and serve.