{super cool sea beans}

8 May

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i’m going to bet not many of you have seen these little guys.  in all my 9 years of being around specialty produce, this was a first for me.  i like to look over the produce section this time of year and see “what’s new.”  that’s how i discovered kohlrabi

these are sea beans.  the proper name is salicornia.  sometimes referred to as “sea asparagus,” these tasty delicacies were a must-try from the moment i spotted them!  i mean just look at how fun they are!  i tried them raw at first and i wish i could remember my exact reaction, but i will tell you this – i wasn’t expecting them to be salty!  then again… after reading the description i should’ve known – i mean they are from the SEA 🙂

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as i was putting some into a produce bag to buy, a lady walked over and started grabbing some, as well.  “i love these!” she said to me with a smile of excitement.  “what do you do with them?  what are they?!”  i asked, so fascinated.  she went on to tell me about how she would just get them everywhere when she lived in alaska and out there they just saute them in a little oil or butter and lots of pepper.

the information on sea beans says you can eat them raw, blanch them, put them in salads, etc.  i knew they were a yummy snack when eaten raw, as i had munched down a good share over the course of a couple days… but i wanted to try them sauteed like the lady mentioned to me.

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i didn’t blanch mine, i just rinsed them off really really well…

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then threw them in with some chopped garlic in a little EVOO… sauteed on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, until tender like asparagus…

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they were delicious this way!  and the cute little sea bean salicornia kept their colour rather well.  they remind me a little bit of seaweed as far as flavour but the crunch is nice like a pickle almost… once sauteed they are similar to asparagus in texture but the saltiness cooks out a little and the pepper helps with flavour distinction, too!

have you ever tried sea beans?! if so what did you think and where did you find them?!

as per usual, i found this batch at whole foods market, where i find practically all my specialty produce.  i was extra surprised to see them in colorado of all places – i forgot to notice where they came from, i’d be so curious.

thanks for reading!!

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4 Responses to “{super cool sea beans}”

  1. Lulu G May 8, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    My favourite vegetable ever. We used to pick it as children on the beaches in Wales. We called it Glasswort then, but it’s usually known as Samphire, or Marsh Samphire here in the UK and sold by fishmongers; also heard it called Saltwort

    Like

    • cooking with audrey May 9, 2013 at 12:42 am #

      that is awesome, miss lulu! i saw that on the description it was called “samphire” — so many names! such an interesting little vegetable, i just find them fascinating! thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Like

  2. anthony0358 May 8, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    This looks like another yummy delicious food that I had not heard of before, and now I need to check them out

    Like

  3. tinywhitecottage May 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    never heard of these before! I’ll keep my eye open over here at the Seattle Whole Foods, I would love to try them.

    Like

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