Plenty Epicurean Pantry

about our shop   |   our journal   |   our values   |   our community

our journal

Welcome to the online journal of Plenty, written by Trevor Walker, the shop owner. Feel free to post comments and engage in discussions.

Plenty Sea Asparagus Festival

Sea Asparagus (photo courtesy of Westcoast Seaweed)

Sea Asparagus (photo courtesy of Westcoast Seaweed)

Plenty will be celebrating the local Sea Asparagus harvest from Sunday, June 14th to Saturday, June 20th.  We will be sampling fresh Sea Asparagus at the store all week.  Please stop by to try some.  We have fresh Sea Asparagus, pickled Sea Asparagus and Sea Asparagus Mustard available at the store for purchase.

  • Sea Asparagus (Salicornia virginica) belongs to the genus Salicornia, making it a distant relative of beets and spinach!
  • It grows in estuaries where it is exposed to salt water, imparting it with a salty flavour and crisp, crunchy texture.
  • The harvest season for Sea Asparagus runs from May to early July.
  • The Sea Asparagus that we sell is sustainably harvested from licensed beds by Brad Carey of Westcoast Seaweed.  Brad is conscientious and committed to the long-term health of the beds.  He also helps monitor for an invasive grass that’s threatening the coast.
  • Sea Asparagus is high in vitamin A, and a good source of calcium and iron.
  • It can be used raw to garnish salads or steamed and tossed with butter.
  • It is wonderful served with sushi or as a garnish for any seafood dish.
  • It can be blanched quickly in unsalted water, plunged into ice water (to set the colour) and then tossed with butter and a little garlic.
  • It can also be sautéd with onions, olive oil and garlic.
  • For a savory pesto blend Sea Asparagus with basil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

Here is a recipe (actually a combination of two) that I used recently for a staff dinner.  I served it with cold smoked tuna from Finest at Sea.

Sunomono with Sea Asparagus

Sea Asparagus: blanch in boiling water for two minutes, plunge into ice water.  Set aside.

Cook in boiling water until just tender:

5 to 6-oz Japanese saifun noodles (A.K.A. harusame - available at Plenty) or vermicelli noodles.

Rinse in cold water, drain and transfer to medium bowl.

Add the following:

  • 6 tbsp. rice or cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

Toss, cover and chill.

Peel and seed (cut lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon) 1 medium size cucumber, chop into small moon shaped slices.

To serve, divide noodles into 4 or 5 serving bowls and arrange the cucumber and sea asparagus on top. Lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds.

posted June 13, 2009 in favourite things, recipes

2 Comments »

  1. hello i am a sustainable wildcrafter of sea asparagus on the sunshine coast. i sell at local farmers markets and love that you are publishing news about asp. casn you send me more distinct nutritional analysis about them as it is hard to find
    cheers mark

    Comment by mark wilkes — June 17, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  2. Hi Mark,

    The Hawaii Ministry of Agriculture may have the analysis that you are looking for: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/add/soq/companies/marineagrifuture/view.

    Comment by Trevor — June 17, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

Leave a comment