This was my first experience with samphire – are you guys as new to it as I am, or have I just been living under a rock for the past few centuries? If you’ve not had it before, it’s basically just a green plant that grows by the sea, and is therefore super duper salty.
And I really do mean super duper salty. Eaten raw, it’s almost too salty to bear, even for someone like me who doesn’t have a single sweet tooth in her mouth. If you just nibble it a little at a time, it’s actually almost enjoyably wince-inducing, but I don’t think I could manage a whole plateful like that.
So instead, I sautéed it in butter – because Literally Everything is better when sautéed in butter. The samphire’s flavour mellows a little when cooked, and the saltiness becomes much more pleasurable (just make sure you use unsalted butter!).
Because its flavour conjures up images of the seaside, samphire is often served with fish, but I thought it was perfect in a simple potato salad – potatoes love salt. They soak it right up and become really, really tasty. Add some fragrant garlic, fresh parsley, and another knob of butter for good measure, and you have the most amazing potato salad.
(is it possible to have a warm potato salad? Or am I just kidding myself that this is even remotely a salad? Either way, it’s yum)
If you’ve ever eaten buttery potatoes, I’m sure you can imagine just how irresistible this potato salad (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) is. Add the salty samphire and it’s different enough from the norm to make it feel like something really special – perfect for serving up to guests who you want to impress without actually having to put much effort in.
By the way, make sure you remove any particularly thick stems from the samphire – I left in a few pieces that I could have done without, as they were a bit tough. The thinner, softer pieces are much tastier.
Hot and buttery samphire potato salad
- 500 g new potatoes (~ 20 small potatoes)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 115 g samphire (~ 2 cups)
- Black pepper
- Small bunch parsley, chopped
- Cut any particularly large potatoes in half, leaving the smaller potatoes whole. Boil in a large pan of water (or vegetable stock, for extra flavour) until tender.
- Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a large frying pan, along with the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over a medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
- Remove any thick, tough-looking stems from the samphire, and add it to the pan with the garlic. Sauté for 5 more minutes.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and add them to the pan, along with the remaining tablespoon of butter and plenty of black pepper. Mix to combine, and allow the butter to melt.
- Add the fresh parsley just before serving
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.