Seasonal Food Week No. 7 – Samphire


Samphire. Buy or pick it then, on the same day, steam or blanch for a few minutes, drain and serve with lemon juice, fresh ground black pepper and butter/margarine. That’s all you need to know.

There are other recipes which some would say mask the flavour of the samphire, it’s a question of taste. I’ve only ever eaten it boiled briefly over a camping stove.

samphire.org.uk is an excellent site, as simple and fresh as samphire itself – and with a recipe for pickled samphire.
As mentioned on that site, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has championed the use of samphire recently, and Jamie Oliver has published a recipe for pickled rock samphire
Rock samphire, which is widespread along the South and West coasts, is a different plant to the more common East Coast marsh samphire, being ready to pick earlier – May/June whereas marsh samphire season tends to be July/August – and growing on rocky outcrops, which in the past made picking commercially a dangerous occupation.

Best place to buy samphire? Frary’s seafood stall on the Wells-next-the-Sea quayside, without a doubt.

I’m using the phrase ‘seasonal food’ to indicate those foods which, generally, are only available in their growing season, so many are wild and all grow in the UK.

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