Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coastal foraging

I'm thrilled to bits with beach spinach (Tetragonia trigyna) as a leafy green. It tastes mild, salty, and little sour. It keeps for ages in the fridge, and it holds its volume when cooked. (It's better cooked than raw.)

Like 'real' spinach it's relatively high in oxalic acid - so all the usual warnings and recommendations apply.

I've been looking for it every time we're near a coast.

So far I haven't found it on the south coast, only up the west coast near us. You Kapiti dwellers, I envy you!

We also tried gathering and eating ice plant. (Picture from Wikipedia.)

It's truly disgusting raw. Just a taste made me feel nauseous. But, as per the received wisdom, we tried chopping some up and pickling it in vinegar. We added some roughly chopped onion as well. All in all, it wasn't too bad like that.

I'm keen to have a go at lacto-fermenting it in brine or whey. I imagine that would break down even more of its undigestible components. I'll also slice it more finely.


Nikki said...

Well, I've only seen one beach spinach plant so far and not at any of my own walking distance beaches unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Oh, we had heaps of that in our garden when we lived in Pukerua Bay! As I recall, there's quite a bit of it around the Bay, so you could just try going for a wander around there. It'd probably also pretty easy to grow in your garden ... although I guess that defeats the purpose of foraging!

- Andrea (who has forgotten her blogger password!)

maryinnz said...

I wonder if it would have that nice salty taste, grown in a city garden?