One of the great pleasures of foraging is discovering exciting flavours in the common and innocuous-looking plants around us. Sea arrowgrass never fails to raise squeals of surprise and delight when we encounter it on my guided coastal walks.
I have a love-hate relationship with marsh samphire. Mostly its love – the wide open seascapes where it thrives, its odd cactus-like appearance and its wonderful salty-fresh succulence. Even the silty, squelchy estuarine habitat where it grows has a “mud-glorious-mud” gooeyness that appeals to the filthy schoolboy in me.
Even if it wasn’t edible sea kale would still be my favourite plant. Its alien-looking purple shoots, sculpturesque leaves and clouds of nodding flowers are works of high art to intoxicate the senses and marvel the mind. As luck would have it, it also happens to be absolutely delicious, providing some sort of food for most of the year.
Sea Radish (Raphanus maritimus) can provide a steady supply of tasty and free greens throughout the year. It thrives on poor ground, so keep your eye on sandy soil, shaley beaches and espepecially seaside road verges…