My colleague from A Taste of Shetland Elizabeth inspired me to try to harvest some seaweed. Elizabeth’s post about the experience sounded real fun so last last week, on an evening, I suggested a family trip to the beach… with a bucket and scissors. My five-year-old son was thrilled with a thought of an adventure on a school night and my husband seemed quite intrigued too. So off we went to Minn Beach, in Burra, one of our favourite spots.
Needless to say there was some doubt in my mind if the the seaweed would be edible but after checking various resources I was assured that seaweed found around the UK shores is suitable to eat. We’ll see, I thought…
Anyway this foraging trip was a good excuse to enjoy a fine night outside doing something slightly different. After getting wet and having lost the feeling in outer extremities I had a small amount of what seemed a quite promising collection of seaweed. I made sure that it was only cut from a growing stem and it would grow again which to me sounds like the marine version of the cut and come again salad.
After enjoying some stunning views of Foula on the way back, we were happy to get back to the car and head home to thaw out and soak and rinse the seaweed.
And dry it in the boiler cupboard…
And after a couple of days there was a bowl of a sea-fragranced dessicated substance…
Now what to do with it… and then I got an idea – making a salad sprinkle which originally was supposed to be just seaweed and chilli. After several attempts of finding a good method of shredding it (breaking up with hands, cutting up with scissors and whizzing up in a food processor) I had a little amount of beautiful looking pure-sea goodness in a bowl and all over the worktops too.
I added chilli and dried nettle which I picked at the beach trip too.
The mix looked absolutely beautiful and thought it could be called a ‘Shetland superfood mix’ since chilli and nettle are both a pretty amazing food stuffs and so is seaweed. But then I thought it would be nice to add something for a bit of crunch and I toasted some golden linseed, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and for a bit of a twist I added some sumac which is naturally sour and tastes very refreshing.
And voilà here is my newly invented Shetland Superfood Salad Sprinkle.
And it tasted delicious on some home-grown salad leaves with a drizzle of olive oil.
And the price tag? Just the cost of a handful of seeds and we got a lot of fun and a small family adventure out of it too. Brilliant!