Making Pickled Sea Asparagus July 26, 2016 15:16
Over the weekend I went to Nanoose Bay to spend some time soaking up the sun and dipping my feet in the water.
I frequently walk along Wall Beach looking for things that have washed up on the rocks like shells, bones, and bits of metal. So I set out with my backpack filled with bags and a water bottle (something I usually forget) and headed down to the water.
I forgot that it was the perfect season for sea asparagus and was pleasantly surprised to see so much of it when I went around the point!
Salicornia (sea asparagus, sea bean, glasswort, pickleweed, samphire) is a species of salt tolerant succulent found in North America, Europe, South Africa, and South Asia. The best time to harvest (in my experience) is June - September. When eaten raw, sea asparagus basically just tastes like solidified ocean water (very salty, kind of seaweed-y).
It can also be boiled and served like land asparagus or chopped up and used in soups or stews and pairs nicely with seafood.
I figured I would try something new this time and ferment them since I had seen many recipes for pickled sea asparagus. I was able to find a couple recipes through the internet and combined them.
Fermented Sea Asparagus Recipe
You will need:
- Enough sea asparagus to fit in a 1L mason jar
- 2 cloves garlic (quartered)
- ¼ cup of salt
- ¾ cup warm water
- A two-piece fermentation weight (or boiled rock that can fit through the mouth of the jar)
- Something to cover your jar (airlock, pickle pipe, fabric cover, plastic lid)
- Cram the sea asparagus and garlic into the jar
- Dissolve the salt in warm water
- Cover sea asparagus with the brine
- Place weight on top making sure all the sea asparagus is under the brine
- Cover the jar opening
- Wait for 3-6 weeks
Sea Asparagus Salad
- 3 cups roughly chopped sea asparagus
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (or other small tomato)
- Olive oil
- Pepper (to taste)
Toss everything together in a bowl and take to a picnic!