Despite all the horrid things said about rock samphire, this recipe is really rather good. The "kerosene" flavour remains slightly in evidence, but is much moderated by the sweetness - and by the pickling process. Use the young shoots of May. Eat with cheese and bread or with a mackerel salad.
- 300ml cider vinegar
- 1tsp white peppercorns
- 25g sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 bay leaf
- 70g rock samphire leaves (use the topmost sprigs), washed
- 1tbsp olive, hemp or rapeseed oil
- Makes 1 jar
Put the vinegar, peppercorns, sugar, lemon zest and bay leaf into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble for 10 minutes to reduce a little.
Blanch the rock samphire in salted water for a few seconds, then, without rinsing, pack into a sterilised jar, leaving a 2cm space at the top.
Pour on the hot pickling liquid, cover with a thin layer of oil and seal the jar with a vinegar-proof lid.
Keep your jar in a cupboard for two years, then throw it away (just kidding).
The recipe is taken from the book River Cottage Handbook No.5, Edible Seashore, by John Wright. For a limited-edition, signed copy of Edible Seashore for the special price of £8.99, visit www.rivercottage.net