Posted by: lornasass | July 7, 2010

SAMPHIRE, SEA LETTUCES, AND POSIES

A walk along the Conwy marina in North Wales a few nights ago when the tide was low proved very rewarding:  a whole world of underground vegetables and posies were revealed.

The first plant I spotted seemed to be samphire (aka sea bean), which I remember reading about in eighteenth-century English cookbooks.

Now I wish we’d gathered some and cooked it–but at the time I wasn’t positive that’s what this delicate asparagus-looking plant was.  According to a BBC television cooking site, “samphire grows mainly on tidal marshes and has a salty sea freshness and succulent texture.”  They recommend cooking it either in fresh or sea water for only a minute or two, then draining and tossing with butter. Sounds good to me.

The plant in the foreground looks like some kind of portulaca.  I’m not sure what the remaining plants pictured below are, but I suspect that most of them are edible.

Wish I could find a way to meet a local forager and gather a meal next time the tide is out.


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