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Sea Purslane

Other name: Atriplex portulacoides

Halimione portulacoides

the silvery Sea Purslane - foraging recipesAnother common coastal gem that can be found throughout the UK, Sea Purslane grows in bushes up to 1m tall boasting plump green-silver leaves approximately 1-2cm long with reddened stalks the lower half of which often disappear underwater at high tide.

The upward facing leaves are covered in delicate scales which lend the plant its silvery finish. It grows well in salt marshes near estuaries, channels and coastal pools, producing flowering stalks from June to September which are also edible.

 

Always take care when walking in a marsh environment – it’s easy to get lost and deep mud can be dangerous. Let someone know where you are going and remember to check the tide times before you leave so you are not caught out!

sea purslane - foraging recipes

The best thing about wild food is that it generally contains far more vitamins and minerals than its farmed equivalent. Sea Purslane and it's inland relatives are no exception containing more Omega 3 fatty acids than some supplementary fish oils, along with plenty of helpful antioxidants including vitamins A and C. If that isn't enough purslane also boasts some B complex vitamins and essential minerals, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

 

How to eat it:

Sea Purslane is saltiest when raw and can make an excellent garnish or salty nibble. Some people liken the raw leaves to munching on ready-salted crisps so can be an enjoyable healthy snack.

Whereas the chunkier Marsh Samphire requires a minute or so to cook, Sea Purslane needs only a matter of seconds on the heat! It too loses a lot of its saltiness when cooked, even without boiling.

cooked sea purslane with alexander stems & green beansMy favourite cooking method is to add a handful of the leaves to a pan of boiled greens like runner beans and peas, immediately after draining the water. Toss in a knob of butter, give it a good stir and leave the lid on for a minute to keep the heat in whilst you serve the rest of the meal.

Naturally its location pairs it well with fish and other seafood dishes but really it goes well with pretty much anything. Treat it gently and stick to simple flavours so as to let it shine through and of course, no extra salt required.

 

We'd love to hear what you think about Sea Purslane, leave us a comment below!

 

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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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