Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sea Beans and Arugula Salad

Sea Beans are commonly know as samphire.  There are two edible very similar plants. One grows along the coast of northwestern Europe and is referred to as rock samphire, or crithmum maritimum.  The other type of samphire that is available in the U.S. is known as salicornia.  It grows in abundance along both coasts.  Fresh sea beans are typically found on supermarket shelves from spring through fall.  They are most tender during the summer months.
One of my favorite dishes to make with seabeans is a salad of seabeans and arugula.  The sea bean is best when eaten raw. It has a crunchy and crispy texture and an abundant taste of saltiness from the ocean with a slightly fishy flavor.  Since arugula has its own natural pepper flavor, the combination works well together.  The ultimate effect is two natural ingredients coming together to create a bursting flavor of salt and pepper, without any salt or pepper. For some sweetness, I like to add diced red pepper.
Sea Beans and Arugula Salad
1 cup of sea beans
1 bunch Arugula, stems removed
1 cup of diced red pepper
Rinse sea beans and dry. 
Discard stems from arugula and wash well.  Dry leaves in salad spinner.
Toss together sea beans and arugula.  Add diced red pepper and top with alfalfa sprouts (if desired) as a garnish. That’s it. 

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