Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum)
Rock samphire grows in little cracks between the rocks by the sea. Years ago, it was much sought after and gathered annually on the higher cliffs, along with gulls’ eggs. We pick it at several local beaches from April to June, before it flowers, after which the flavour becomes petrol-like, bitter and nasty. Never uproot the plants, snip off little fronds with a scissors
Rock Samphire with Melted Butter
Serve alone on toast or with fish dishes.
Serves 8 as an accompaniment
225g (8oz) samphire
Put the samphire into a saucepan of boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer for about 3–4 minutes or until tender. Drain off the water (refresh in cold water if serving later), season with freshly ground pepper and toss in butter – no salt because samphire has a natural salty tang.