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Recipe for :

Pickled Marsh Samphire

This recipe for Pickled Marsh Samphire comes from Dyfed Lloyd Evans.

Dyfed runs the Celtnet Recipes recipe site with recipes from all corners of the globe. You can find more information about marsh samphire and further recipes at the Marsh Samphire information page on the Celnet Recipes site - click here. You can find far more recipes for wild ingredients on the Celtnet Wild Food recipes page - click here.

Marsh samphire (Salicornia spp), also known as Glasswort and Sea Asparagus is a succulent salt-tolerant herbaceous plant that grows in salt marshes and on beaches. It is in season between June and August, but is best early in the season, before it flowers. The plant is famous in Norfolk, where pickled samphire has been served as a bar-top nibble for many years. Recently samphire has begun to appear on the menus of trendy restaurants. Mainly as a garnish though increasingly as an integral part of fish and seafood dishes.

The use of marsh samphire in trendy restaurants has made this a prince amongst wild foods and has introduced many people to the delights of foraging. Yet few people know how to make the best of marsh samphire itself.

The first essential is to pickle the plant, to make the most of its short season.

Ingredients for Pickled Marsh Samphire

1.4kg marsh samphire shoots
300g salt
800ml white pickling vinegar

How to make Pickled Marsh Samphire

  • This is best made with young marsh samphire, gathered in July (before the plant flowers).
  • Trim the samphire and remove any woody stems then break into 5cm length pieces.
  • Lay in the base of a dish and sprinkle with salt.
  • Allow to marinate for 24 hours then wash the salt off.
  • Dry the samphire then place in a pan with just enough vinegar to flavour.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour into cleaned and sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 80°C.
  • Seal and store until needed.

Dyfed Lloyd Evans