Tag Archives: Sea asparagus

Recipe: Cucumber and Sea Asparagus Salad

This is a recipe I put together over the holidays in Hawaii. Sea asparagus or samphire is a veggie (or succulent herb) that grows between salt water and fresh water. It has a natural saltiness and crunch that lends itself well to a simple salad like this one. Sea asparagus is an excellent natural source of iodine. Sea asparagus in available seasonally, when harvested wild in Canada and Europe. Fresh sea asparagus is cultivated year round on the north shore of Oahu http://www.olakaihawaii.com/index.htm and is available at farmers markets throughout the island and at Foodland.

Fresh sea asparagus grown on the north shore of oahu

Fresh sea asparagus grown on the north shore of oahu-the best sea asparagus for taste and texture

1 japanese cucumber, chopped

1 cup fresh sea asparagus, rinsed and roughly chopped

1/4 maui onion, finely chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

fresh lime juice to taste

1 tablespoon Pele’s Fire chili infused macadamia oil (or any other oil you like, spice is adds great flavour to the salad)

chopped fresh cilantro to taste, or chopped shiso for those that don’t like cilantro (thank you Sharon S.)

In a bowl, toss together cucumber, sea asparagus, onion, tomato, and chili oil. Season with lime juice to taste. Top with chopped cilantro or shiso. Enjoy any time with breakfast, lunch or dinner.




Food Inspiration Moments of 2012

Here are some of my favourite moments of food inspiration in 2012 in no particular order:

Callaloo: A great tasting, super nutritious green veggie that I enjoyed and  learned about on the South Coast of Jamaica this year. There was nothing better than being shown where and what the plant looks like growing wild.

Sea Asparagus Pesto: Another highly nutritious, delicious and naturally salty veggie made into a unique delicious pesto product that I discovered in Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii Acai Bowl: This antioxidant packed sorbet like treat topped with granola and fruit was delicious in addition to the energetic boost it provided. I nicknamed the acai bowl ‘superjuice’, as I felt superjuiced after I ate it.



Galerie au Chocolat, Fire: The heat really builds up from the chili in this chocolate. I amused myself just a little by having various friends sample the chocolate and watching their reaction to the heat.

Minisyrup: This unsweetened flavouring was a surprise discovery that led to further inspiration in the idea of adding flavour to club soda and water to create your own beverage. Adding flavour to water is common practice in the UK. I was reminded of Ribena (available at Sobeys), a sweet, blackcurrant concentrate syrup in production since 1938 that I enjoyed as a child. What’s old is new and water flavouring will reach new heights here.


Beer and Cheese: Who knew? However, someone seated beside me at the Gabardine had a plate of beer battered cheese and I had to order it as well. Very tasty. www.thegabardine.com

I was convinced to sample Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale along with some cheese at the LCBO and found the crisp, slightly fruity beer to be a great complement to the cheese. Very tasty and very smooth combination.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi: A most inspirational and beautiful film about one man’s passion in his work, his creation of sushi.

Societe Orignal Churned Seashore Honey: This honey is the best ever with its fluffy texture that tastes of caramel, marshmallows and a hint of flowers all at once.


Salted Caramel Icecream: I had amazing salted caramel icecream at BiRite Creamery in San Francisco. XocoCava (1560 Yonge Street) has an outstanding salted caramel hazelnut icecream. One young hipster told me she is so over salted caramel…and I still love it.



Ps. The best salted caramel macaron is at Petite Thuet www.petitethuet.com

Vinamit Chips: These are the most amazing fruit and vegetable chips that are made through dehydration and are sold at T&T. My brother introduced them to me and I am hooked. Mixing together one bag of the mixed fruit and jackfruit chips are the perfect combination.

All things Austrian: Are up and coming as spotted by the eagle eyes of the man behind Making Life Good…thank you JK.

Happy Christmas!


Veggie Inspiration: Sea Asparagus and Endive, approved by Dr. Oz

Sea asparagus and endive are two veggies that I consumed this week, and coincidentally, both have a Dr. Oz connection. I first tasted sea asparagus at the Tate Modern restaurant last May in a light curry sauce that accompanied cod. The crunchy texture and salty taste was delicious and intriguing, definitely a taste highlight of 2011. I started buying it for $14.99 a pound from Fiesta Farm last summer and steamed it lightly to accompany various barbecue dishes as a veggie (it is technically a succulent herb). After a few months of no sea asparagus, I found little jars of pesto and salsa verde made from sea asparagus at a farmer’s market on Oahu. I bought the little jars and brought them all the way home! The sea asparagus is grown close to the North Shore of Oahu in salty water. I was told by the farmer that Dr Oz had declared it to be an anti-aging food, how interesting, I just fell for the taste and texture! Sea asparagus is grown in Canada as well, in British Columbia. Try it next summer, it is tasty!

On another veggie note, I came across some organic endive at the local Loblaws and figured it would be a good veggie for the avocado, white bean and cilantro spread chef Melissa Saunders made this week. It sure was a great combination. Then, I was told by a client that endive had been featured on Dr. Oz as a food that helps to fight ovarian cancer. Eating 7-9 servings of veggies and fruit a day is helpful in cancer prevention. Having a variety of veggies and fruit is key as they all have different nutritional properties. Endive contains kaempferol, a powerful antioxidant which has been found to slow growth of cancer. Endive is also very low calorie. Try having it with dip or in salads.