Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook: Samphire Salad

I just happened to be wandering in my local specialty grocery store this morning when I came across a little green plant that I had never seen before.  It was labeled "sea beans", so I immediately started googling.  Apparently these little plants grow near salt marshes, and they take on the saltiness of the waters near where they grow.  Now I figured that was a pretty impressive trick (and keeps me from having to salt the salad), so I took some home.  I think this salad allows the samphire to really shine through, but if you're a newbie, just know that yes, they are VERY salty.

Samphire Salad

1 pound samphire (sea beans)
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, use high quality oil here
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup crumbled feta or Mexican cotija cheese
Lemon or lime juice to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the samphire for 1 minute. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool. Let them rest a few minutes. Lay out a tea towel or other cloth towel. Pick through the samphire stalks to remove any stray bits of seaweed, and to remove any discolored bits or woody bottoms. Use only the top 2 to 5 inches of the plant. Lay the cleaned samphire on the towel to dry.

Pat the samphire dry and toss with everything but the lemon juice. Add lemon juice until the salad is as tangy as you like it. Serve cold or at room temperature. This will keep in the fridge for a couple days.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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