Though there are two types of samphire – marsh and rock – only marsh samphire is widely available. Marsh samphire has vibrant green stalks, similar to baby asparagus, with a distinctively crisp and salty taste. It can be used raw in salad, though it tends to be very salty so it is more often boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Rock samphire has a rather unpleasant smell and flavour. Occasionally you may also find jars of pickled samphire in gourmet shops.
Choose the best
Buy bright, fresh-looking plants with no signs of wilting.
Wash thoroughly under cold running water before eating.
Buy samphire as you need it – it doesn't keep for long. If you must, tightly wrap and refrigerate for no longer than a few days.
Steam over a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes and serve with melted butter.