A bank holiday with amazing weather, we can cope with that. We’ve been a little lower on the radar lately because we’ve been moving offices, setting up new products, trying to replenish old ones and – wait for it – getting ready for our book!
Amongst the delicious and affordable seaweed recipes section, we are also going to be writing about the amazing properties of seaweed and more about what you’ll find and where. Some of this information is what we hope to present here on the site, but the book will be a much deeper foray into the life, harvest and collection of different seaweed.
We had a spate of TV appearances with different chefs championing our products on cooking programs a while ago, and one of these was Nathan Outlaw, who has his hand in several different restaurants around Cornwall. In a Q&A profile for Tasting Britain, our writer Laura chatted to him about using foraged ingredients, and our seaweed, which he serves currently with a brill dish.
Yesterday as the sun sparkled across the water, we went for a walk and a forage around the Helford. A rocky beach with excellent stones for skimming, we passed a few hours soaking up rays and watching the ruby red anemones popping in and out as the sun warmed the rock pools.
In the same pools, riven with tiny barnacles and a few limpets and mussels, was a ripe load of sea lettuce. Some sheets were as big as my face, and I read a recipe where you make a seaweed saltimbocca by wrapping the fish in sea lettuce. We also spent a good hour gathering some sea spinach, which we cooked with sorrel and wild garlic as a side dish.
Violets and primroses lit up the hedges walking back to the car, and so we pinched just a few for decoration. As with any foraging, it’s really important to consider the sustainability of the plant, and leaving some for the future. I can remember going primrose picking for cake decorating with my Nan, who would always be really worried a policeman would come and stop her. Although it doesn’t seem so in Cornwall, primroses are in decline, and so just the occasional head for decoration should be used.
We’ve always got wellies and scissors on us, as we need them for harvesting seaweed, and the scissors are a good idea for foraging anything. Seaweed, the incredible plant that it is, regenerates from where it’s cut, so although they don’t have roots in the same way that trees and terrestrial plants do, they have a holdfast, which is why you generally find them attached to rocks or other objects. Snipping them near the base of this holdfast means they will completely regenerate which is why seaweed is one of the most sustainable foods on the planet.
Similarly, when using sea spinach, the bigger leaves that still look succulent should be cut, and the younger ones left to mature a little to encourage sustainability of this delicious food for free.