WHAT? Nautical haricots verts. Popeye may have had spinach, but a seafaring vegetarian's delight is the sea bean. The American sea bean is a type of samphire [SAM-fy-uhr] known as salicornia. Its other aliases are glasswort (it was used to make glass at one time), marsh samphire, and sea pickle. Sea beans proliferate on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Some have spiky green leaves that make the plant look like a skinny miniature cactus without the needles. Others look surprisingly similar to Chinese long beans. The crisp leaves and stems smell and taste like sea salt. Fresh sea beans can be found from the summer through the fall, and are best when used fresh or pickled. When cooked, sea beans have a tendency to taste salty and even fishy.
WHERE? New England Thanksgiving
HOW? Nantucket’s Bounty > Bay Scallop Crudo with Sour Cranberries, Dried Sea Beans, and Cabbage Purée