I had seen salicornia maritima, AKA “sea beans” growing alongside the Pacific for years, but never bothered to investigate it. Then, last Tuesday, when the organic produce delivery came, I reached inside and pulled out a small paper bag filled with it. Sea beans. They smell fishy….not all that great….but when I tasted one, it wasn’t bad at all. Had sort of a lemony taste…very salty…and I figured that if I still ate fish, I probably would have served them up with salmon. They are dark green, and I thought that since they were in my produce delivery, they had to be good for me…so I looked ’em up online. It seems they are high in iron and super nutritious.
I learned that they are usually steamed or boiled. I sauteed them with some tiny shiitake mushrooms in lemon juice and olive oil. Added some freshly cracked pepper and pink Himalayan sea salt and that was it. If I had it to do over, I would not have salted them…but I only added a dash,so it was ok. Delicious!
I served them up with some vegetarian chick’n a l’orange and a nice helping of creamy polenta with chopped spinach and diced carrots. Paired the meal with a nice glass of Malbec and really enjoyed it. So. There it is. Something new for dinner.