English: Northern edge of Morston Salt Marsh Looking across the mouth of Morston Creek, into Blakeney Harbour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
I have only in recent years discovered samphire which grows natively in the UK around our estuarys. I like its succulent texture , saltiness and slightly asparagus taste. Luckily our local fishmonger is my source and he usually has it in plentiful supply. It is also full of the good stuff as
Juliet Dennis BSc, Nutritional Therapist writes:
“Marsh Samphire, also known as glasswort or sea asparagus is coral-like in appearance and has gorgeous green stems. Found in salt marshes and mud flats from June until September, it is known for its digestive and anti-flatulent properties. Nicholas Culpepper (the 17th century English physician) wrote that samphire was useful in curing ailments relating to “ill digestions and obstructions” likely due to its diuretic and depurative properties. It is rich in iodine and is packed with phytochemicals that protect the liver, heart and cellular DNA. It is also rich in vitamins A, C, B2, B15, amino acids, and minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium phosphorus, calcium, silica, zinc, manganese and vitamin D. Not surprising, therefore, that it was used by sailors on ocean voyages to combat scurvy. Eaten raw, lightly blanched, or steamed, sea asparagus is fast gaining new heights of fame in our kitchens.”
( source http://www.ion.ac.uk/information/onarchives/summerseaside-nutrition)
I have seen various ways of cooking it by saute-ing in oil but prefer my fishmonger’s method of just pouring a kettle of boiling water on it and letting it steep for a minute or so.
We always seem to have it with skate wings which is my husbands fish of choice as you do not need to do battle with bones as such. Today we had them simply fried for 5 minutes a side with some chopped up chorizo. Delicious and has to be one of my favourite mid week meals!