Viewing entries tagged

Seaside Forage


Seaside Forage

Is it celery? Or is it parsley? It's got stems the texture and look of celery but it tastes strongly of parsley with a hint of the the ocean.......... its Sea Parsley.

One of the many edible plants found along the West Australian coast, sea parsley is a big favourite with chefs at the moment. Added to salads, as a garnish or to form the base of a sauce, this salty celery-flavoured parsley can be found amongst rocks and sand dunes all along the coast. It can even be grown in our gardens.

There are many other coastal greens that have been trending in Australia's best restaurants including but not limited to:

 WA Samphire: Also known as Sea Asparagus, Samphire lines the coastal dunes and estuary banks in clumps of deep green fingers. It is salty and crunchy and works beautifully with fish and in small salads. Harvesting occurs between November and February and it generally turns woody and dormant in the winter months.

Dune Spinach: Also known as Barilla or Coorong Spinach, this plant is covered in time swollen water storage cells and grows extensively in beach vegetation. It is lovely sautéed and fruits in the season of Kambarang,

Crystal Ice Plant: A close cousin of Barilla, this plant is native to WA and also grows in the sand dunes. It is a green succulent, with thicker leaves than the dune spinach which turn slightly grey in the summer and has pink, yellow or white flowers tips in summer.

 Pigface: One of our first blog posts introduces Pretty Pigface. To read this post click

It is always advised to seek guidance from those who can identify plants and who collect in a sustainable way with biodiversity in mind. Strict laws pertain to foraging in Western Australia and licenses should be obtained if you wish to collect these ingredients instead of using a supplier.

Coastal greens can also be grown in garden beds around Perth and Western Australia. If you would like to try your hand at growing some of your own native vegetables such as sea parsley visit the Tuckerbush website to see where you can get a hold of them and start using them in your cooking!





Pretty Pigface

Pretty Pigface

With a common name like Pig face, it doesn't sound very appetising does it?! And it most definitely does not taste like pork.  Pigface (Carpobrotus Virescens), can be spotted all along the WA coast and inland cliff dunes.

The succulent banana shaped leaves of Pigface taste similar to salted zucchini and cucumber and are delicious steamed, roasted or sautéed served alongside fish or meat dishes. It was eaten for centuries by the traditional owners of this land who have a deep spiritual connection to these foods. Later, European settlers adopted it to starve off scurvy. It is also good for easing constipation and stomach cramps due to its laxative properties. 

The beautiful pink flowers first start appearing in the season of Djilba and are a perfect garnish to brighten up any dish.Following flowering comes the ever-popular fruit, squeezed out of its bulbous skin and eaten. The white pulp tastes similar to sweet but salty kiwi fruit and has a texture not dissimilar to dragonfruit. There is also a non-native Pigface dotted around Perth,introduced from South Africa, with larger succulent leaves and yellow flowers. This too is edible.

Many people wander the paths leading through the dunes to the beach not even noticing the edible plants around them. It is important to remember however, that removal of plants from protected areas and private land is strictly prohibited. All foraging requires a license and should always be done with respect for the season and the land that it is on. Also, be mindful of any possible contaminants, such as dog deposits and insecticides, as well as ensuring that the plant has been correctly identified. Popular in the RiverMint kitchen, all parts of the Pigface plant are utilised and sustainable collection practices are paramount.