Friday, 3 December 2010

FORAGING FOOD: Sea Beet or Wild Spinach

Native to the coasts of Europe, northern Africa, and southern Asia. The sea beet lives in the wild along most shores in Great Britain, and can be found on the upper beach front. The sea beet is the wild ancestor of common vegetables such as beetroot, sugar beet, and Swiss chard. It also known as 'Wild Spinach' or 'Sea Spinach'.
It grows up to 1.2 m, flowers in the summer, and is easily identified on the beach, as nothing else looks quite like it! Its leaves are bright green with new leaves being triangular/spoon shaped and with a thick stem running up the middle of the leaf.
It is available from April to October, but the young leaves are best in April and May. The wh
ole flower is edible, with the flowers appearing from June to September. The roots have a beetroot flavour. Leave the roots in place though as beaches are owned by someone, and you will need permission before digging up! Superior in flavour and texture to garden varieties of beet, its leaves have a pleasant texture and taste when served raw or cooked.

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