Monday, 10 June 2013

happy accidents

Sometimes a perfect day is planned for, other times it's a happy accident - and very occasionally, the stars align and the two come together. A little scheme that's been bubbling on the back burner, meets an opportunity that's too good to pass up - for me that's always the best combination.

This week the gods of industrial action gave me a Saturday off work that I hadn't expected. After opening the curtains to glorious sunshine and checking the tide times for our area - I knew it was the right day to go and hunt down my next foraging treasure.  Marsh Samphire - deliciously salty and impossibly expensive in smart restaurants, it grows freely through the summer in the tidal salt marshes that garland the Welsh coast.  (Well that's what the books say, and I have been planning a mission to find some for a while now).

You know you married the right guy when the question 'How do you fancy going to stand up to your shins in mud in the estuary to forage for samphire?', is met with the slightly bleary eyed response of 'Oooh - that sounds exciting'.  That's my boy!

Armed with wellies, buckets and scissors, we set off for the coast to an area that my research told me should deliver the goods. After a bit of a walk and some eagle eyed searching we found our prize.

It's a little bit early in the season so the shoots are still very small.

This one was our champion specimen.

The rest were more like this.

But an hour or so of glorious squelching and snipping, yielded enough for a supper dish for two.

Now I'd like to tell you that we gathered the rest of our supper too, but that would be a lie! We stopped off at the supermarket on the way home to buy a bag of mussels, some sourdough bread and enough wine to make moules mariniere, with a glass or two left over for the sunburned foragers.

Wash the samphire in fresh water just before you cook it - I steamed it for about 3 minutes.
Served with butter, black pepper and a great big bowl of delicious mussels.

Perfect end to a perfect day.


  1. So, what does it taste like? Is there something with a similar taste I can buy at the shops? Spinach maybe?

  2. It's kind of salty and succulent at the same time. You can buy it in fishmongers here but it's expensive - presumably because of the amount of grubbing about in the mud required to harvest it. I guess the Asian grocers seaweed section would give you a comparable blast of the seashore - different texture though.