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Sea Purslane

Atriplex portulacoides – family Amaranthaceae

 

Another common coastal gem that can be found throughout the UK, Sea Purslane grows up to 1m tall boasting delicate yet plump green leaves 1-2cm long, with silvery scales and reddened stalks. It grows in salt marshes near estuaries, channels and coastal pools producing flowering stalks from June to September which are also edible.

If you're not lucky enough to be venturing near the coast any time soon don't fret as it too is becoming increasingly popular among restaurateurs and some supermarkets. We tried our very first wild foraged Sea Purslane by way of the veg box delivery service from Abel & Cole. https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/wild-sea-purslane-50g

 

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 land relative is no exception containing more Omega 3 fatty acids than some fish oils, along with plenty of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, some B complex and essential minerals, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

It's saltiest when raw and can make an excellent garnish (in small amounts) and whereas the chunkier Marsh Samphire requires 1-2 minutes to cook, Sea Purslane needs only a matter of seconds on the heat! It loses a lot of its saltiness when cooked, give it a nibble before and after to compare. Some people liken the raw leaves to munching on salted crisps. My favourite way is to add to a pan of boiled greens immediately after draining with a knob of butter, give it a good stir and leave the lid on for a minute whilst you serve the rest of the meal.

Of course the saltiness along with its location pairs it well with fish and other seafood dishes but 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 salt required!  

 

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

 

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Foraging disclaimer:

These recipes and foraging articles are meant purely as guides to help you locate and make use of the wild edibles common to the UK. Any foraging YOU undertake is done entirely at YOUR OWN RISK. Do not rely on these guides alone to fully identify the plants you find as there are many poisonous species that may be easily confused, especially to the untrained eye. That being said - get some training, book a place on a foraging course with an expert, and read as many identification and botany books as you possibly can! Happy hunting!


Sarah is an 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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