Friday Forage #9 | Pickled Rock Samphire

If like us you love to adventure, then you will no doubt agree that nothing beats topping off a 'hard day' with a tummy rumbling treat.. and this is one of those treats!

Rock samphire, aka Crithmum maritimum is one of those rich pickings that you don't want to miss, occasionally it grows on the foreshore but it's more often found clinging to rock faces or coastal sea defences. Once you know it you won't forget it, it has such an unusual whiff about it that we at team fore describe as a bit like polish! You can eat the flowers, seeds and leaves raw or throw in salad, steam or boil for a few minutes, but to get the best out of this wild edible we love to pickle it.

samphire 5.jpg

Sometimes called sea fennel or sea asparagus, this is prime picking time as it comes into season in Spring.  Up until the early 20th Century it was a known delicacy but these days It gets a bit of unfair press for being too pungent, and it seems that the well known marsh samphire is the star of the show today. We're more than happy to eat either but they are completely different on the taste buds, marsh samphire is crunchy and salty but being a member of the carrot/parsley family, rock samphire has all that and more as it packs a punch with a stronger aromatic flavour.

We say...Don't knock it till you try!

Time: 5-10 minutes
Makes: a medium sized jam jar

Ingredients:
300ml White wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp pepper corns
A few slithers of ginger
A generous handful Rock samphire
3 bay leafs

How to:
Bring the vinegar, herbs & spices to the boil then simmer together in a saucepan for 5 minutes.
 
Add the ginger to a sterilised jar. Pick the leaves off the samphire stalks until you have enough to fill the jar then pour over your liquid.
 
Pop on the lid and leave in a cool dark place for a week until ready to use. Keeps for up to 6 months unopened, once open use within a few weeks and keep in the fridge.
 
Serve with fish or make up a wild sea tartar sauce team fore style, coming soon in our feature with the lovely folk at grow eat gather