Foraging on the Coastline- Sea Vegetables
With the growing popularity of cookery programmes, we have all become a little more knowledgeable with our ingredients and so wild foods being brought to light in TV programmes like the Great British Menu and Master Chef have shone a light on nature’s wild harvest.
While many people know about the range of wild mushrooms that carpet forest floors for a few weeks each year or the growing popularity for foraging of wild garlic in May, not everyone is aware of the wide range of stunning wild sea veggies that they can acquire.
Quite simply, wild sea vegetables are edible plants that grow wild in or near the sea. Because of their proximity to the salty water (either immersed in it or watered by sea spray) they often take on a salty taste.
Because of this salty flavour and their links to the ocean, sea vegetables are perfectly paired with seafood, either as a side dish or more usually as a garnish.
But that’s not the extent of how they can be used, some can be pickled, some shredded into a salad, some can be used to make a salty wild seafood stew, and some can be made into a coastal-style pesto or mayonnaise.
As with all wild foods, their scarcity adds to their allure. They’re not abundantly farmed, so supply is always limited and often irregular but the vegetables below are our most common on the shore lines.