Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Dish of ground seaweed

Gutweed/Sea Greens (Ulva intestinalis) ready to be used in a Green Olive and Seaweed Tapanade

I still remember the first olive tapanade I ever had. Rich olive puree, decadently lathered onto toast. Years later I created my own seaweed tapanade for my book: Seaweed Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in which I matched the seaweed Egg wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) into a delicious blend of black olives, garlic and oil.

Since then I've discovered I can use smaller amounts of seaweeds and combine the ones I use. No longer do you need to get hold of one specific seaweed. You can be using a variety of seaweeds such as the three I use and mention below.

This is so easy and quick to make and you can tweak the recipe to suit, or just combine small amount of the seaweeds you have dried and ground. Give it a go, and let me know how you get on!

Egg cup of dried and ground Bladder wrack seaweedPre-blended ingredients for Green Olive and Seaweed TapanadeThe finished dish of Green Olive and Seaweed Tapanade

Green Olive and Seaweed Tapanade Recipe

An easy tapanade recipe with a few seaweed twists, adding depth of flavour, that umami hit and a nutrition boost.

Ingredients

  • 125 g green olives (drained)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus)
  • 1 tsp ground gutweed (Ulva intestinalis)
  • 1 tsp wireweed (Sargassum muticum)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whizz until pulped. Put aside for at least a couple of hours for the flavours to infuse. Serve with fresh bread, on pizzas, mix into rice or spread on toast. Keeps well.

Enjoy a seaweed tapanade on the beach

 

I like to experiment. It's not that I don't repeat tried and tested recipes that I love. I do, but sometimes I like to experiment and try something a little bit different.

I have a couple of recipes for seaweed hummus and seaweed dips (including Broad Bean and Sea Greens Dip and Kelp Hummus which you'll find in my Seaweed Foraging book) that I've made again and again. Though this particular Saturday afternoon I fancied doing something different.

I have a shelf in my kitchen dedicated to seaweeds, call it my seaweed shelf, if you like. I perused the different varieties of dried seaweeds I had and decided to use a combination of two seaweeds. In my freezer I had lots of frozen peas, I love frozen peas, and decided to combine the peas and seaweeds, with lemon and garlic, of course.

Dried seaweed known as sea greens

(Bowl of dried gutweed - Ulva intestinalis - sometimes known as sea greens)

Gut weed, also known as Sea Greens (Ulva intestinalis) was my obvious choice with peas, though I'd also have some great successes adding Pepper dulse (Osmundea  pinnatifida or Laurencia pinnatifida) to many dips as it adds a spicy kick to recipes and accentuates flavours already there. So my choice was made; gutweed for its wonderful herby flavour and lots of nutrition including B12 and protein, and pepper dulse for the peppery umami flavour.

Close up of Osmundea pinnatifida

Pepper dulse growing off the rocks

Dips are so easy to make, just whizz them up and serve. Really.

the process of making seaweed and pea dip

Once blended, I sealed the Pea and Seaweed dip in a couple of tupper-ware containers and took it to the beach where I met a group of eager and budding foragers for a Seaweed Foraging Course. Towards the end of the afternoon we sat on the rocks and ate. Two tubs of this more-ish dip went rather fast, and was enjoyed by the adults and kids on tasty seaweed bread.

Eating seaweed on the beach

Pea and Seaweed Dip

Ingredients

  • 425  g frozen peas (defrosted)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 g dried and ground  gutweed seaweed (Ulva intestinalis)
  • 5 g dried and  ground pepper dulse seaweed (Osmundea pinnatifida or Laurencia pinnatifida)
  • Juice from 1 and 1/2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients and serve. Keeps well for a few days and perfect on the beach with fresh bread.

On the beach, we've almost finished the Pea and Seaweed dip!

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