Samphire is a vivid green sea vegetable also known as sea asparagus that looks a little bit like a cactus (minus the spikes). Back in the day they used to call it glasswort as it was burned and used to make glass. There are actually two kinds of samphire – marsh samphire and rock samphire. The names give it away really as to where they grow, with marsh samphire being the more common of the two and the safest and easiest to collect. For those who like foraging, it can be collected between June-August in salt marshes and tidal mud flats across the British coast.
I blanched the samphire I bought then included it into sort of stir fry with zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and a range of herbs. The first couple of mouthfuls I enjoyed… And then the salt hit me! Big time!! My partner teases that I’m always going off about salt on food (especially when eating out). I can’t help it, I just have a very low tolerance for salt and unfortunately for me samphire totally exceeded that threshold.
Samphire has a nice crunch to it but the super-saltiness was a killer for me so I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon! Definitely a case of less-is-more when used in recipes I think! A lot of the recipes I have since seen for samphire tend to combine it with cream or eggs which probably helps to neutralise the saltiness. Samphire is also low in phenylalanine and is suitable for a low protein diet for those with PKU (according to the NSPKU).
What did you think of samphire if you’ve tried it?
- Scottish salmon salad with samphire by Jamie Oliver
- Tangy quinoa with samphire by Messy Vegetarian Cook
- Roast chicken with samphire and toum dressing by Food and Travel
- Spaghetti with samphire and prawns by The Foody Man
- Samphire beet top and spinach tart by River Cottage Vege
- Potato and Samphire Salad by Thyme Supper Club