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Just as important as provenance, seasonality is something thankfully we’re all now seeing return to an increasing number of menus. Just as we reach the end of asparagus season – no asparagus should be cut after the 21st June – we enter into the season of the sadly little known samphire.
This glorious edible seaweed has long been considered a local delicacy around the coast of Lytham where I live, as well as across the estuary in Banks and Southport. From late June until mid to late September this tasty crop, also sometimes called “poor mans asparagus” is available and is delicious when boiled and served either on its own or sautéed in a pan with butter, garlic and parsley as an accompaniment to fish.
My mother used to make it into a delicious soup with twice its weight in half cooked potato, a little butter and pepper and is just the sort of local delight we should expect to see our Lancashire restaurants celebrating as a North West gourmet classic.