My memories of Summer are, inevitably, interlaced with foraging. Plants and food, namely wild food, has long been an integral part of my life. One that I choose not to live without. Earlier on in Summer I wrote about keeping things simple and shared easy…
Tag: Rock Samphire
I love, love, love Rock Samphire (Crithmum martimum) though it has taken me a while to get used to it. When I first tried it, having plucked it off the rocks on the south coast of Cornwall I just thought it tasted ‘unusual’. Fifteen years later I understand and appreciate it’s complex flavour more and I know when and how to harvest and use it.
Pickled rock samphire is a traditional way of preserving this vitamin C rich plant. You can alter the spices you add, so please use the recipe below as a guideline only. This wild Rock Samphire pickle recipe means you can eat this plant throughout the year – pickles are brilliant in that way. Enjoy it with cheese, cold meat or fish boards, or with freshly cooked fish.
A simple way to preserve and enjoy this coastal wild food and it will only take you 10 minutes to make!
Makes 500 ml
- 100 g rock samphire
- 1/2 lemon, sliced and cut into wedges
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 225 ml white wine vinegar
- 225 ml water
Wash the rock samphire and snip off any fibrous ends. In a medium saucepan place all the ingredients and slowly heat until steaming. Simmer for a couple of minutes then pour into the jar, seal and leave to cool. Once cold, store in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks and store for up to 6 months.
Other Rock Samphire Recipes
Take a look at my Rock Samphire Salsa Verde recipe, or I cook it simply in my Wild Food Foraging book. If you’d like to keep up to date with what I’m foraging, cooking and teaching, why not join one of my foraging courses, or follow me on facebook or instagram.
It’s a fresh winter morning and I am sitting watching the sky lighten and the day begin. I am just sitting, doing nothing, while the day is offering nothing less than a performance. Blue sky starts to peek through, charcoal grey clouds move slowly in…
‘You just have to try that green stuff’ (participant on a foraging course)
Luscious wild greens; Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) makes the perfect base for a Salsa Verde (green sauce) and it tastes so great that hardly anything else needs to be added.
Over the years my version of this Rock Samphire Salsa Verde has got simpler, depending on what other ingredients I have to hand, who I’m cooking for and my confidence of allowing this wonderful flavour to dominate, rather than plumping it up with other herbs. Gone is the parsley, the mint, the fennel (this plant is also, confusingly, sometimes known as Sea Fennel), it is even good without lemon added.
Late spring or early summer is perfect for picking Rock Samphire, you can also get away with it in late summer if you only pick the young fronds and avoid the flowing stems. This is wonderful beach food and goes perfectly on fresh bread, or served with fish, or even mixed in with pasta or rice. It lasts well, and lifts many dishes. Here’s my version with a few options too.
(Cooked Rock Samphire ready for the chop)
(The ingredients ready to mix, here I use shallots instead of spring onions)
ROCK SAMPHIRE SALSA VERDE
85 g Rock Samphire
3-4 Spring Onions
1 dessert spoon Capers
1 tsp vinegar
1-2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Lemon (optional)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 Anchovies (optional)
Wash the samphire and cook in a small amount of water for 2-3 minutes in a lidded saucepan. The water doesn’t need to cover the samphire, as it will reduce and cook in its own steam. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Meanwhile finely slice the spring onions and chop the capers. When the samphire is cool enough to handle, finely chop it and mix in a bowl along with the onions, capers, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper. Add the lemon if using, and finely chop the anchovies and mix in thoroughly. That’s it! Taste and adjust if needed.
Foraging courses are run throughout the year and most are on or include the coastal path and coastal plants such as; Rock Samphire. I also mention it here as part of my walking the South West Coast Path.