This sea-salty marsh grass can be found as a garnish or side serving on many a trendy menu, but it’s pretty easy to get hold of and well worth trying at home.
Usually served with fish, it works well with many veg and meat dishes too. It’s in season for just a few of months of the year so grab some now and enjoy it in our selection of mouth-watering recipes.
What is it?
First off, there are two types: marsh and rock. Marsh samphire is the most common so that’s what we’re talking about. Also known as glasswort, sea asparagus and the mythical-sounding Mermaid’s Kiss, it grows on salt marshes and tidal mud flats around the UK coast.
As with most green things, it’s good for you. It’s full of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, B and C, and could help with things like healthy bones, good gut bacteria and anti-aging (extra helping, please).
Where to get it
When it’s in season, you’ll find samphire in larger supermarkets, greengrocers, butchers and some veg box deliveries. If you’re near the sea, you might even see it growing wild so here’s how to forage it.
The fresher the better so, wherever you get it from, make sure it’s a healthy-looking bunch of vibrant green stalks.
Use this salty green veg in some simple and tasty Italian dishes, like this gnocchi with parsley butter and samphire. If you don’t want to make the gnocchi, you can always buy ready-made – we won’t tell 😉
Or how about a brimming bowlful of this flavour-filled chickpea linguine with samphire and lemon? Cheap, easy and lip-smackingly good.
With a fish dish
These quick crab rolls are a world away from a soggy seafood sarnie. Soft brioche rolls, crunchy veg, sweet crab meat and chilli sauce – you’ll be snapping ‘em up!
Wok that samphire!
Samphire’s saltiness makes it great with Asian flavours. Try this crispy sesame pork with samphire and you’ll see just what we mean.
And this quick chicken stir-fry is a rainbow riot of colour and flavour with samphire as the star ingredient.
This collection of super samphire feasts is plenty to get you well acquainted with its distinctive crisp and salty taste. Need a little more persuading? Just think of them as mermaid’s kisses.