If you give the menu of any up-market restaurant a quick read, you will probably come across a fish dish served ambiguously with ‘sea vegetables’. We reckon that’s a bit of a cop-out - you wouldn’t get away with referring to ‘land vegetables’ - especially as there is so much wild food to get hold of along the coastline, so chances are that sea purslane will have made it into those posh fish dishes. For good reason too! It has a unique crunch unlike most coastal plants, yet still delivers on that distinct salty flavour you would expect from something that spends its days getting battered by the sea.
Enjoy nibbling on it fresh from the bag, as a robust garnish for seafood, or flash-fried in hot oil for a banging side dish. Better yet, whip up a quick pickle that you can serve wherever you might want a tangy, salty addition… bit of sugar, bit of vinegar, maybe some thinly sliced shallots and carrots… whack in some raw sea purslane and you’re done! We’ve also enjoyed it as part of a simple sauce stirred into spaghetti: olive oil, black pepper, finely sliced garlic, chilli and a big handful of raw sea purslane leaves - a perfect example of how wild food can transform ordinary meals into something amazing!
Just remember that however you serve it, please discard the tough stalks before preparing. If you have any green seeds, these are perfectly good to eat.