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Sea Beans

Definition: Sea Beans

Mysterious green plants known as sea beans have becoming increasingly prominent at farmers markets and restaurants. Although their scientific name is salicornia, they are frequently referred to by many names, including pickleweed, glasswort, drift seeds, sea asparagus, sea pickles, and marsh samphire.

Their vivid green stalks, which grow on salt marshes and beaches, have a crunchy texture and a briny flavor with a vegetal aftertaste that's been likened to asparagus. They can be eaten raw, but have a high sodium content, so often they are blanched to remove some of their saltiness. Sea beans can also be sautéed, steamed, pickled, and even battered and fried.

Photo by flickr user foodistablog

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