A Taste of the Sea
Before this week I had tasted sea beans but never cooked with them. Now I can't stop thinking about their endless possibilities. Sea beans (a.k.a Salicornia or glasswort-names that make you less inclined to eat them) are small, bright-green marine plants that resemble little kelp-like haricot verts. They are briny like the ocean and crisp like a green bean. Eaten raw or given a quick blanch, sea beans are a great addition to a salad. I find them a little too salty on their own but when mixed into a salad their salty flavor balances quite well; they also add a good texture. Try throwing them into a green-bean salad or a salad made with sliced cucumber and tomato. Adding them to the mix is a great way to add some seasoning without actually using any extra salt, which can make vegetables quite watery. You can find them now at markets here in New York City like Greenwich Produce and Amish Market or year-round at www.melissas.com.