Want to get excited about a new super food? Try Samphire. I guess, it’s not that new – Shakespeare even wrote about it, not exactly a flattering review, but still notable acknowledgement to it as a source of food for quite some time.
It’s called asparagus of the sea, but to be honest it doesn’t taste anything like asparagus to me. It just sort of resembles what you imagine asparagus’s anorexic little cousin to look like. I mean as if asparagus wasn’t skinny enough…Geez.
Ok, back to the point. Samphire is super salty, naturally and has an incredibly delicious buttery taste. Simply rinse and maybe blanch if you want it to be less salty and then sauté with a tiny bit of ghee (or butter). Clearly no salt needed. Only thing to note is that some of the larger stalks can be a bit tough and stringy. Otherwise they are fantastic paired, as you can imagine, with seafood – shrimp, salmon, scallops, but also an equally yummy addition to your average day-to-day salad. Extra perk? Reduces flatulence…so if that’s a problem for you better get on this! Also, it tastes fantastic, I’m hooked.
I decided to make some yummy, refreshing spring rolls with my samphire. Here’s the recipe:
Crab and Samphire Spring Rolls
5 pieces romaine lettuce
1 cup samphire, sautéed
¼ cup julienned cucumber
¼ cup julienned carrots
¼ cup julienned orange bell pepper
¼ cup julienned fennel
1 cup lump crab meat
5 rice paper spring roll wrappers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash sea salt
Place all veggies on a dish, lumped into their own little piles (so it’s easy for you to grab a little bit from each group).
In a bowl, mix together crab dressing ingredients just until combined. Add lump crab and stir to evenly coat.
Pour warm water into a large flat dish (I use a tart pan). One at a time, dip a rice wrapper into the warm water. Let it become soft, use your fingers to push the rice wrapper down into the water and make sure it is all soft, then gently pull out of the water onto a clean plate.
In the center of the wrapper, place a piece of lettuce, about 2 tablespoons of the crab mixture and top with little bits of julienned vegetables.
Fold three edges of the rice wrapper around the mixture like a burrito, then use your hands to tightly tuck the mixture into the rice wrapper so that it is solidly in there and roll forward so that it is a tight little wrap.
Set aside and repeat until you have used all of the rice wrappers.
As the chef, you are entitled to eat remaining vegetables and crab mixture…there won’t be much, but go ahead. Enjoy.
I cut the wrappers in half and serve as a snack or starter for dinner parties. You’ll love these and once you get comfortable rolling these wrappers you are going to get creative stuffing them with all kinds of concoctions! Have fun.