Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Vegetables

Samphire, or Rock Samphire, is an edible wild plant found in coastal regions of mainland Britain.

Its fleshy, divided, aromatic leaves have long been regarded as a delicacy in Norfolk. It is now appearing as a garnish in London restaurants or can be used a starter. The flavour is highly reminiscent of asparagus hence samphire is sometimes referred to as "Poor Man's Asparagus." It is often sold by fishmongers when in season (from late spring). Well worth trying, if you can find it.

Early crops can be eaten raw, but in a later harvest, the leaves will be tougher and slightly bitter. To prepare them for the table, trim away the hard root, wash the leaves and plunge them into boiling water for a few minutes. Serve with a mixture of butter and vinegar, or with butter alone. Diners pull the green flesh from a hard central stalk by dragging it through their teeth like an over-sized thread of floss.