Fresh Samphire (Sea Beans)
Country Of Origin: Turkey
Sea Beans are best when foraged in the late spring and summer months.
Samphire also known as sea beans are halophytes, meaning they only grow in salty environments. They are found growing upright in dense clusters along coastal waters and even inland along the banks of salt marshes. Sea Beans are succulents with thin, round and fleshy, multi-segmented stems that can reach up to 30 centimetres tall. The bright green Sea Beans have 2 to 6-centimeter-long, horn-like branches growing opposite of each other up the stems. Along the small branches lie tiny, scale-like leaves that look like small shields. Sea Beans are crisp and crunchy with an intensely salty flavour, which can be muted with cooking.
Sea Beans are best when either served raw or lightly blanched. Sea Beans can be added raw to green salads or pasta salads. Sea Beans will intensify the aroma and taste of seafood. Add Sea Beans to stir-frys or lightly sauté with garlic and lemon for a simple side dish. The briny pickled flavour of Sea Beans pairs well with fish and crab, or smoked salmon lox. Pair pickled Sea Beans with sharp cheeses and cured meats, ham or salami.
Sea Beans are high in protein, with roughly 20 grams per one cup portion. The sea vegetable is also a good source of vitamin A, calcium and iron.