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marsh samphire

There are many varieties of this salt-loving plant, most of them edible. Salicornia (also known as glasswort, pickleweed and sea beans) used to be farmed on a wide scale for soda ash, used in making soap and glass. Now it's better known as an accompaniment for fish dishes and seafood antipasti.

Salicornia is sometimes called asparagi di mare, 'asparagus of the sea'. It also appears in salads, in pasta dishes or in new-fangled antipasti paired with bresaola or melon and smoked salmon.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by Marco Schmidt, Creative Commons License