Wednesday, 8 July 2009
I always think Samphire is a good name for one of those steroid enhanced, orange skinned amazonian 'Gladiators' on that ITV programme - there might even be one, who knows? Anyway, I digress. I had a nice surprise when I picked up my meat order from the farm at the weekend. Paul (one of the farmers) presented me with a large bag of marsh samphire. The farm borders on the River Crouch which joins the Thames Estuary, so at low tide Paul had hopped over the sea wall and grabbed a load for me, which was very kind of him.
Samphire is obviously salty, but in a good way. Eaten raw it has a lovely crispness to it - it's a bit like a salty green bean really. It's known as Glasswort or sometimes referred to as 'sea asparagus' but apart from looking like very thin asparagus I don't think it really tastes like it. It's in season from late June to August. It's a great accompaniment to most fish and you can simply steam it and coat it in butter - but I decided to lace it with a sauce a la Rick Stein which is made by reducing some fish stock, Noilly Prat and cream by three quarters, then you whisk in a little cold butter. We had it with pan fried salmon and new potatoes.