Take off your socks, roll up your trouser legs and wade happily into the world of edible seaweed.
Bladderwrack, Oarweed, Thongweed, Dulse, Laver and Winged Kelp. No, not the names of a new bunch of Marvel superheroes (and haven’t we had more than enough of them by now?) but the names of just some of the seaweeds we should be chowing down on.
Because they are super in themselves – rich in nutrients, sustainable and environmentally friendly. And tasty, let’s not forget tasty.
This immaculately produced book, translated from Norwegian, is not only beautiful to look at, but packed sardine-like with great and frequently beautiful recipes, simple to prepare for single meals or family feasts.
Main courses, snacks, soups, salads and desserts. Vegetarian and with seafood. Plus, some experimental type dishes of tapas, too.
Getting hold of seaweed doesn’t mean having to actually head down to the seashore, although the authors do have guidance for doing so safely and respecting the seaweeds’ sustainability (taking a large pair of scissors is a must). And they do encourage you to do so.
In fact, most seaweed is sold dried, either in specialist shops or online, and has to be soaked at home where it almost miraculously unfurls into large and juicy green leaves and tendrils. The book has a list of useful seaweed stockists at the back.
Seaweed delivers umami, which is why it’s such a favourite ingredient in Japanese cooking and it is also a source of salt. It has few calories or carbohydrates, is low-fat but rich in protein often with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as amino acids and trace elements.
So, what can you make? Well for a start and for starters there’s classic miso soup of course. Or how about an omelette with peas, feta cheese and sea lettuce? Salmon with coffee, chili and winged kelp sounds delicious too.
It adds flavour to a vegetable stock and will raise up your bowl of ramen. Add it to a quiche along with spinach, wrap it around cod and slow cook for a fish that truly tastes of the sea.
You might also want to browse this delightful book with a Gin seaweed tonic, seabelt Martini in your hand, the recipe is here too.
Each photo is a work of art, none of your tedious top down stuff so beloved by Instagrammers, these are proper professional images that would look perfect framed on the wall.
The whole book is an eye-opener and more than enough incentive to head for the beach