It’s been tough vacationing here in Greece. I go to the beach for two swims a day and on occaision I get bored and go for a walk along the beach. Towards the end of our beach it gets rocky but that’s where I also found rock samphire growing. I first made a potato and samphire salad last year and I ate alot of this stuff at the Sani Gourmet Festival (back in May) and I was eager to cook with samphire again this summer.
Rock samphire has large leaves and it grows out of rocks that are near the sea. It’s best to pick samphire in the Spring time but with a little blanching (mellow the favour) this delicious and healthy green is delish. This salad was made to accompany the grilled amberjack dish and I made a couple of weeks ago and I’d recommend serving it alongside any other grilled fish dish.
There’s sweet thick slices of onions that are cooked until just softened. Good wine vinegar is then added into the skillet and the onions get a quick pickle from this process and then olive oil, orange juice and segments are added into the salad (all while still warm). I used fennel fronds on this occasion as I do enjoy the flavour of anise but you could also use tarragon for a similar effect or dill would work wonderfully too!
Samphire Salad With Onions & Orange
approx. 4 cups of samphire ( leaves and tender stems)
1 large medium onion, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments/supremes
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh fennel fronds or tarragon
- Rinse your samphire well and strain. Place a large pot of water on your stove-top and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt and samphire and boil for about 6-7 minutes or until just fork tender. Strain the samphire and run cold water over it until it’s just warm.
- In the meantime, add the olive oil into a pan over mdium heat along with the sliced onions and garlic. Add some sea salt and cook down the onions for about 5-6 minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Now add the wine vinegar and squeeze in the orange juice that’s left in the hull of your segmented orange. Simmer while stirring for a couple of minutes and take off the heat.
- Add into a bowl the onions, samphire and toss gently. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, add orange segments, fennel fronds and serve warm or room temperature as a side with grilled fish.
NOTES: The scientific name for Samphire is Crithmum maritimum L. and it belongs to the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family. The seeds of the plant resemble barley and the ancient Greeks called samphire “krithamon”. Samphire can be found on rocky shores of European Atlantic and Mediterranean and reproduction of samphire is through cuttings. Samphire is best when harvesting it in mid-Spring, before it flowers but you may blanche or boil it if you find some later in the year. Always consult some locals before picking and sampling any greens you’re not sure of.
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