Grocery stores are noticeably absent when we’re cruising in remote areas of the BC coast. So when we run short of fresh veggies, it’s time to go shopping by kayak or dinghy.
Goose-tongue greens (Plantago maritima), which grow in little crevices in the upper intertidal area of rocky shores, are one of my favourite edibles.
They’re simple to prepare – just wash and briefly steam or stir fry – and they readily take the place of green beans in any dinner menu.
Another tasty and nutritious intertidal veggie is Sea asparagus, AKA Pacific samphire or American glasswort (Salicornia pacifica), found along more protected shorelines with tidal mudflats. It’s often submerged when we spot it, but at lower tides it’s usually exposed or at least reachable.
Occasionally we get lucky enough to find Goose-tongue greens and Sea asparagus growing together on an accessible beach!
Last summer both were in short supply in the areas we cruised, so we focused on what was plentiful instead – seaweed.
The steep, rocky shores at the mouth of Kingcome Inlet were richly hung with Green string lettuce (Enteromorpha). I loved how its bright green hues contrasted with the rich golden brown tones of the Rock weed (Fucus) that grew just above it.
At the right tide, the string lettuce was easy to pick without having to step out of our kayaks, as you can see from the photo at the top of this post.
We’d never eaten it before, but inspired by the seaweed salads we’d been buying from our local deli back at home – and reassured by a reference book I keep on board – we gave it a try. I washed it well and turned it into a salad, adding a bit of onion and a few other items we had on board. It was delicious!