Good Food Blog
SamphirePosted at 12:20PM, 15 May 2008 by Jenni Muir - Food writer
During summer - which is restaurant review season rather than holiday time in the London food writer's calendar - I enjoy samphire quite often. No, I'm not out with a bucket on the mud flats of Norfolk . The wild estuarine plant has become something of a staple in smart restaurants that are big on British produce and seafood, such as Richard Corrigan's Lindsay House and Bentley's , and the various places in the Caprice Group , which includes Scott's, J Sheekey and The Ivy.
Come the end of June, when the season is well underway, we can normally expect articles on it from produce-loving chef-writers such as Mark Hix , Skye Gyngell and, of course, enjoy Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Despite their assertions that samphire is so quick and easy to cook, it's never really occurred to me to use it for a midweek supper, the sort knocked out in 15 minutes when you haven't got home from work until after 8pm.
The wild estuarine plant has become something of a staple in smart restaurants that are big on British produce and seafood...
But last week there was a gorgeously fresh and clean-looking pack of it in Budgens of all places, right next to some plump green prawns. I kept my eyes on the labels that talked of three to five minutes cooking time, carefully avoiding the price stickers (am good at that).
Once home, I put the pasta pot on, gave the samphire a quick rinse (ate some of it raw - yum, not too salty) and sautÃÂ©ed it and the prawns in melted butter with chopped garlic and a pinch of dried red chilli flakes. Stirred in the cooked pasta, black pepper, and bunged it all it bowls. It was just gorgeous.
Finished it well before 'Waking the Dead', too, which frankly doesn't happen often. And with recent episodes being so gory, basing supper on fresh green veg on Mondays and Tuesdays has proved a good idea.