What is samphire?
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 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.
How to prepare samphire
Wash thoroughly under cold running water before eating.
How to cook samphire
How to store samphire
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.
When is samphire in season?
Choose the best samphire
Buy bright, fresh-looking stalks with no signs of wilting.
Alternatives to samphire