Anna from Anna's Cool Finds is the host of this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and I've found something that is extremely cool, Samphire!
It may look a bit otherworldly but as soon as I saw them at the Farmers' Market I just knew I had to buy them. They have been a bit of a holy grail of ingredients for me - much talked about, never seen.
This Samphire hails from Wilson's Promontory here in Victoria. Samphire is a salt water plant and as such, is quite salty. Though it may slightly resemble really fine asparagus, taste wise they are quite different.
Samphire can be eaten raw though I wouldn't recommend it - it has a slight crunch to begin with and after the initial burst, the overpowering flavour is of salt.
For something that I've waited so long to try, there are really only a few ways to enjoy it. It can be pickled but not wanting to go that route, I've opted for the simpliest.
It is boiled in unsalted water for a few minutes - this allows the Samphire to lose some of its excessive saltiness and softens it which gives it a more pleasurable texture.
You do need to keep an eye on it as it will go too soft very quickly. Once boiled, drain and toss in unsalted melted butter. No seasoning is needed.
The butter just balances the dish out, adding a touch of sweetness and leaves the Samphire with an attractive sheen.