Vegetables Facts and Tips (13): Salicorne


I decided to run this posting on this rare vegetable following a query from my dear friend Jenn.

Salicorne has a slightly salty with a fresh, not overpowering, herbal taste. It grows exceptionally well in salt marshes and can sometimes be harvested under wharves. Although salicorne is a weed and does grow by the sea, it does not look like seaweed. It is more like a sprig off a tree with small dark green fleshy branches.
Apparently they are grown or collected in France onlyalong its Westen and Northern shores.

Salicorne has no comfortable English name. Some call it sea asparagus, and it does have a little of the sweet flavour of that vegetable. It is also known as slender glasswort, La salicorne, or criste-marine and perce-pierre in French. Its etymology is actually the Arabic word: “salcoran”. It is also thought to mean salt (sali) horn (corne) in French. So salicorne is how it is usually called in English and French.

It is exported to Canada fresh, pickled or in cans.
Human-grown as opposed to natural salicorne is better suited for cooking as it does not include all kinds of unwanted twigs and other unrelated plants when harvested in the wild.

Vegetarians and vegans can eat it fresh as it is, in salads or as pickles.

Cooking/cuisine suggestion:
Smoked herring marinated in Salicorne cream:
Place 250 g of smoked herring in a deep oven dish. Cover fish with milk and let marinate for 2 hours. Drain and take moisture out by placing fish on kitchen paper.
Put them back inside the oven dish and cover with whote wine. Let them marinate again for 2 hours.
Drain them and cut the fish acrss into slices 2 or 3 cm thick.
Place te fish slices in a terrine dish, alternating them with thin slices of onion and carrot, a few parsley leaves, a branch of thyme and a leaf of laurel both chopped fine, some pepper and a tablespoon of finely cut wakame/Japanese seaweed. Cover with olive oile and let marinate inside fridge for 4~5 hours.
Take out a dozen sprigs of vinegared salicorne (canned), cut them finaly and mix them into a bowl of fresh cream that one can use later at will.
Place herring, onions and carrots on a dish with a little oil from the marinade.
Serve with hot boiled potatoes!

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