This delicious and simple dip uses wild, dried seaweed and has an amazingly fishy flavour! Each seaweed species has a different range of flavours, qualities and uses.
Here I introduce this abundant seaweed, describe a little bit about its history, how I discovered it and how to create this wonderful dish.
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I've been using seaweeds in and as food for long enough now. I've got into the the swing of which seaweeds to match with what recipe and amounts to use. Dulse (Palmaria palmata) with potatoes is traditional, in bread feels natural and, I feel, has long wanted to be matched with Baba Ghanoush.
Baba Ghanoush is an Arabic dish using charred aubergines, giving a mildly smoky flavour to this delicious dip. The name roughly translates as 'daddy spoils you' and it does taste rather decadent. Matched with dulse, my favourite dried seaweed to snack on, adds an umami flavour, a little mineral rich salt and plenty of nutrition.
I have a standard Baba Ghanoush recipe that I've used for years. A straight-forward recipe from Daverick Leggett's book 'Recipes for Self-Healing' where Daverick also goes through the energetics of food. He describes Baba Ghanoush as nourishing for the blood and yin - this will make sense if you read more in his Recipes for Self-Healing book.
Back to the recipe. Baba Ghanoush is so delicious, so decadent, so easy to make, and, in some ways very similar to hummus. Except there are no beans to give you flatulence, though I have a seaweed recipe for that too! Look up the Kelp Hummus recipe in my seaweed book for flatulence-free chickpea hummus, with a little added seaweed.
Who would know that blending the flesh of aubergines with garlic, lemon, tahini and seaweed could be so awesome. This recipe makes a fair amount, which meant I was able to enjoy it on toast, on the top of squash soup, and on the beach with sea lettuce bread on yesterday's seaweed course. Here's the recipe.
Baba Ghanoush with Dulse Seaweed
An Arabian dish perfect for dipping freshly cut vegetables into, or spreading onto bread. Inspired by Daverick Leggett's recipe and given a seaweed twist.
- 3 aubergines
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp dark tahini
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 5 g dried and ground dulse seaweed
- Olive oil to garnish and to taste
Burn the aubergines. Either on the highest temperature in the oven or on an open flame until they go soft and squidgy. Scoop out the insides, or peel off the skin and blend the flesh with the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle with a good olive oil and serve. Lasts well for a week, if you hide it and don't eat it all at once.
Find out more about Dulse
Dulse is one of the seaweeds I teach regularly on my seaweed courses, I've also written about Drying Dulse at Home and here's my Dulse soda Bread Recipe. In my seaweed book (as well as my courses), I describe where to find Dulse, what seasons to harvest it, how to harvest it sustainably and nutritional benefits.
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!
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.
- 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.
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.
(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.
Dips are so easy to make, just whizz them up and serve. Really.
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.
Pea and Seaweed Dip
- 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.
I love sweet, it is one of the flavours of my childhood. When I was growing up, Sunday lunch was always a big deal and automatically included homemade pudding as part of the experience. In autumn I remember the warm fluffy texture of the meringue topping in lemon and meringue pie, the tart lemony layer and the crumbly pastry, straight from the oven. In summer, pavlova; large meringues over-flowing with cream and summer fruits. These are both exciting memories and the sickly sweet kind, as I was very familiar with eating too much dessert as a child.
Sweet meringues, with a twist
As an adult, my love of sweet hasn't disappeared though it has been redirected slightly. I try and reduce the amount of sugar I use in recipes and incorporate unrefined sugars rather than the refined white stuff. Unrefined sugar retain more natural minerals. These meringues aren't too sweet, they're made using unrefined sugars and wild Cornish seaweed and are delicious! The seaweed chosen has a good amount of protein in which helps balance the carbohydrate dominance in them too, and if seaweed meringues don't appeal to you, I dare you to try these, especially if you like sweet.
(Making seaweed meringues, combining the different brown sugars, little by little, the seaweed and chocolate)
These meringues are a little different. First of all they contain no white sugar. Second, they are small (you don't need to over do it on these) and thirdly, they contain hand picked, wild, Cornish seaweed. They freeze well too.
- They contain no white sugar.
- They are small (you don't need to over do it on these)
- They contain hand picked, wild, Cornish seaweed.
- Confession time: It's not my recipe, I've tweaked and altered it slightly, but basically it is from Prannie Rhatigan's Irish Seaweed Kitchen. Highly recommended.
(My wild picked, home dried nori/laver/lava/porphyra seaweed, then whisking it into the meringue mixture)
Seaweed Meringues with Cornish Seaweed
- 4 organic egg whites
- 40 g dark muscavado sugar
- 40 g soft brown sugar
- 125 g unrefined sugar
- 3 tbsp flaked and dried nori/laver seaweed
- 1 tbsp cocao powder
Preheat the oven to 150°C and line 2-3 large baking trays with baking paper. In a large, spotlessly clean bowl whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. In a separate bowl, mix the sugars and crush any lumps. Add the sugar to the egg whites, just 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking until the whites are stiff, before adding a further 2 tablespoons. Continue until all the sugar is incorporated into the egg whites. Fold in the seaweed and cocoa powder and combine well.
Using two teaspoons, drop dollops of the mixture onto the lined baking tray with space between each. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the door shut until the meringues have cooled down completely, or leave overnight.
Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks or freeze in a tupperware container, separating layers of meringues with the baking paper used to bake the meringues on.
I make seaweed tasters (handmade snacks using hand-harvested seaweeds) on all my seaweed foraging courses, where you'll learn so much more about seaweeds. Here's a small, small insight on my seaweed blog.
Everytime I run a Seaweed Foraging Course I make tasters. Sometimes I stick to old favourites like seaweed hummus, or 3 Seaweed Soup though often I tweak things or experiment - I like to keep things fresh and new.
Frequently I make seaweed bread and dips; it's easy, accessible and bread is a brilliant carrier for all sorts of toppings on the beach. In my Seaweed book I have a perfect hummus recipe, and a Crab and Alaria Seaweed salad (image below).
I don't often get to teach this seaweed, so doing so, and eating it is a real treat. Alaria esculenta is also known as Dabberlocks, Tangle or sometimes Atlantic Wakame, and is one of the seaweeds that is delicious raw. This makes it perfect for marinades and salads. I love crab, though veganism is becoming more and more popular, so I decided to tweak the recipe and make it vegan, so everyone on my most recent seaweed course could enjoy it.
Alaria Esculenta doesn't grow everywhere, though we do have it off the Cornish coast, and it is most similar to Wakame - a Japanese seaweed used in salads and soups. I share more about this on my courses (there's just too much to say here!).
Here's the recipe;
Carrot, Ginger and Alaria Seaweed Salad
This is really easy to make though ideally you need to marinade the seaweed overnight. You can use fresh or dried seaweed and you could use ginger juice (juice yourself) rather than pickled ginger (available in Asian food stores).
- 15cm dried alaria esculenta seaweed or 25cm fresh (this should be the oldest part, with the stipe/stem and 2/3 of the seaweed left behind for it to rejuvenate)
- 50g pickled ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 300g carrots
Finely chop the seaweed and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the ginger followed by the rest of the ingredients, except the carrots. Stir thoroughly to coat, cover and leave overnight. In the morning grate the carrots and add to the marinade. Mix well and empty the contents into a container with a well-sealed lid and take to the beach, or serve in a salad bowl.
Goes really well with seaweed hummus, seaweed bread, added into stir fries, with noodles, with fried rice, and well, lots of things!
To find out more about identifying and harvesting seaweeds sustainably do check out the seaweed foraging courses or if you want to save money, my seaweed book with recipes, identification, nutrition and lots of tips is just £6.95.