Know your beach greens

Clockwise from top left: seablite, warrigal greens, marsh samphire, karkalla, saltbush, barilla, sea parsley.

Clockwise from top left: seablite, warrigal greens, marsh samphire, karkalla, saltbush, barilla, sea parsley.

Wild coastal greens are popping up on plates in restaurants all around Australia. But do you know your warrigal greens from your barilla? Let's hit the beach.

"It's amazing how much food and medicine you can come across below your feet," says winemaker and market gardener Tim Webber. "It's no wonder Australian chefs are using what's right before our very eyes more and more often." Webber was one-half of the team that opened Sydney wine bar Love, Tilly Devine; he has cooked at Sean's Panaroma and foraged for restaurants including Africola and Ester. He and his partner, Monique Millton, now make Manon wine in the Adelaide Hills. When it comes to identifying coastal greens, Webber suggests familiarising yourself with a key half a dozen plants to start.

"Try before you buy," he says. Samphire is a salty green with a bitter edge - "the beachside wine-drinker's pickle of choice". Together with seablite, it shares its habitat with warrigal greens, an iron-rich spinach abundant along the east coast of New South Wales and into Victoria, where it's gradually replaced by barilla. You may have seen samphire tossed through Kylie Kwong's yabbies and XO sauce, or seablite atop stracciatella at Automata, but you can keep beach-plant cooking far simpler at home by tossing them into a fish pan at the very last minute with nothing more than olive oil and lemon.

Another go-to among chefs such as Jock Zonfrillo and David Moyle is the robustly flavoured saltbush, which is great fried and served over beef or kangaroo. "It's from the same family as quinoa, amaranth, beets and chard and is amazing with an ice-cold beer," says Webber. Karkalla's succulent banana-shaped leaves have a beautiful lemony tang, while sea parsley is "like celery intensified by 100, then dipped in salt". Sounds like summer to us. For a list of distributors, visit outbackpridefresh.com.au


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
The Producers: Box Grove Vineyard Verjus
14.08.2017
What is bee pollen?
09.08.2017
David Jones’ new food hall opens in Bondi Junction
03.08.2017
OzHarvest is fighting food waste by looking in your refrigerator
24.07.2017
Meet Your Maker: RL Foote Design Studio
18.07.2017
Our Baking Cookbook is here
06.07.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot 100 2015 - Food

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Women in Hospitality

A new organisation is empowering women working in the hospit...

The producers: Two Rivers Green Tea

A leading local tea exporter now offers his leaves to the do...

The producers: Colony honey

A selection of regional monofloral honeys sourced direct fro...

Liquid gold

We find ourselves inexorably drawn to salt caramel in a jar....

The producers: Atssu Divers

Hand-dived abalone, turban shell and sea urchin.

Making a scene

Entertainer Julia Zemiro notes there’s little difference bet...

Deutscher’s Turkey Farm

When it comes to talking turkey, the best birds have lived t...

Sandor Ellix Katz Q&A

Food fermentation 'revivalist' and guru Sandor Ellix Katz di...

The producers: Alexandrina Jersey milk

Meet the producers of the creme de la creme of Australian fu...

Gamze smokehouse

Bringing local flavour to artisan-made bacon.

Gourmet Traveller Gourmet Fast app

Now, here's a mighty handful: GT's Gourmet Fast recipes are ...

Food emoji we wish existed

What? More than 200 new pictograms in the latest Emoji set, ...

What is jumbuck?

The jumbuck has leapt straight from the pages of Banjo Pater...

Inside Out almond milk

Thicker, creamier milk, with a more pronounced almond flavou...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×