Samphire (Aussie Sea Asparagus) with vibrant green fleshy stalks and finger-like leaves. It has a distinctively crisp and salty flavour. This unique vegetable, to be used steamed, in stir-frys or blanched, and used as a bed under seafood.
Samphire can be used raw in salad if it's rinsed well, but because it tends to be very salty, it's more often cooked – either briefly fried in butter, for a couple of minutes in simmering water, or in a steamer for a few minutes. Whatever you do, don’t add any more salt to the water.
Buy samphire as you need it, because it doesn't keep for long. Wrap it tightly, and refrigerate for not longer than a few days if bought loose.
Samphire has such a distinctive texture and taste that it doesn’t need any more flavours adding to it. Instead, think of it as a flavour to add to dishes – as well as accompanying fish and seafood, it goes well with lamb and in citrusy salads. You can also use it as an interesting drinks garnish for a gin and tonic.