Having summer in Brighton is an amazing experience. Having summer anywhere on the coast is beautiful, specially when u can reach kindof abandoned places and beaches.
I bought a bike for my birthday recently so i started to discover the neighbourhood – now i can cycle to lots of hidden places i could not enter before because they are too far by foot and i have no car – and/or u cant reach it with a big vehicle. Bicycle is perfect – as i dont mind to cycle for an hour or so especially not in a beautiful sunny weather (no effort workout – love it).
I was working in a proper fish restaurant before (The Little Fish Market)- so we were using a lot of different sea vegetables. I love them – they are very simple and salty and crunchy and delicious. But i didnt know that they grow in the wild just like that… till.
Couple of days ago enjoying the good weather was cycling to Rottingdean from Brighton on the ‘undercliff path’ (i didnt even know about it before)… and i pointed out a ‘cabbage’ like blue-ish vegetable growing out from the pebbles on the beach. Leaves are huge outside, not soft but tough. I had a small bite and it tasted salty. I new i got something. SEA KALE. Get some in the bag.
Going a bit further i though i have the luck to find my favourite – samphire… but stepping closer i didnt recognise that plant, wasnt samphire and tasted like carrot. ROCK SAMPHIRE – carrot family. Amazing… get some in the bag.
Quick ride home, proper wash for the sea vegetables (and for myslef lol). Pick the green/blue soft part from the hard stems (sea kale) same way how u would do in a case of a normal kale. The rock samphire is basically ready to go as it is. Didnt planned any fancy dinner so just made scrumbled egg with nori, spiced tofu and fried the seakale with with the eggs in the frying pan (with a touch of garlic and vermouth for steam, wasabi on the side) meanwhile i blanched the rock samphire separately in boiling water for only a couple of minutes. Nothing fancy but healthy and very yummy easy quick and cheap dinner.
Today i decided to visit my friend Zsuzsi in Shoreham by Sea. I love that place – love the bridge, the river crossing thru, the boat houses and the airport. Just love it.
We went for a nice walk in the sun near the river and talking talking talkin… when suddenly pointed out something on the beach in the mud. I was working with that thing before, not long time ago in a crab dish at The Little Fish Market. SEA PURSLANE!!!
One small plant… then another… then i looked up and realised that the whole riverside is covered with this amazing little white salty leaf. Yuppppppiyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I made my friend try and she loved it, even her son Leo liked it and started to harvest the small plant straight to his mouth. Lol. Nice catch Kat! But the best just came after…. a bit more walk and i found something what looked like samphire again from distance. It wasnt. It was SEA BLITE. Just as crunchy and full of water like the samphire.
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah. One step further… SEA ASTER!!! Jesus Madre Mia – i found the seagarden of nature. Amazing. Zsuzsi and Leo were just following me and asking with each every piece if its edible or not. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
And finally… i found my true love… SAMPHIRE. Loooooots and loooooots. Standing out from the wet mud like little green soldiers. They made me very very happy. Was a great day. Its soooo good to know that nature has everything what we need really just need to open our eyes. After find more fennel and chamomille also growing everywhere.
footnote: thank u for all the informations to ‘my forager’ – Michael Cutting – without him i still would be that crazy to try everything without knowing what – but without him i would never let anyone else to eat all the stuff i do. @forage_brighton
Dinner: Whatever is in my fridge: courgettes and smoked seitan salami (cooked in vermouth) with seaveg from the coast served with an amazing spicy orange wine. Yesssssss. Love LIFE.