We were pretty happy this week to see a few people taking us up on the finger foods suggested last week.
This week we've been trialling a few ideas at our end to test the theory. Before our sales meeting on Wednesday we had a delicious dish cooked up by Ed; the samphire was cooked simply and then served with a creamy lacto-fermented ramson sauce. Dipping the samphire into the sauce we did find that it was a slightly messy affair to deal with. We didn't mind at all but if you think that would be an issue at your tables then it's simply a matter of picking the laterals off from the main stem and it makes for a tidy affair. Overall, it was enjoyed by everyone and both sales team and picking teams for the day had the dish so that when the foragers went out for the samphire they were well briefed on what would work for the diners!
Through that morning we bandied about a few other ideas for how the dish could be refined and Ben had a great few suggestions. One was that with other finger foods you would often have a little dish of salt to dip your fingers in and he had a couple of ideas on how we could use that with our samphire dish. So today he spent a little time in the kitchen and came up with this beautiful dish serving a whole host of finger foods.
It was an absolute delight! Another neat little trick that Ben introduced us to was for the Japanese Rose Hips. As they are much bigger than the Dog Rose Hips he said that you could cut them in half, freeze them and then they are very easy to removed the seeds and surrounding hairs. In the dish pictured above they were perfect for bringing a little acidity and cutting through some of the strong flavours and creamy sauce, refreshing your palate in the process. For me it was a perfect dish in terms of its balance and lightness whilst also being a wonderful reflection of the season and an excellent use of wild ingredients the whole way through.
In the next few weeks while we still have a good amount to harvest I expect that more of you will take up the gauntlet with our native wild Marsh Samphire. Next year, now that we've learned this valuable lesson we won't be stopping the season prematurely but following it up to this glorious finale.