As Whitstable is near to the sea, you might expect to find samphire in Whitstable. What yu may not expect to find however, is a restaurant right in the heart of Whitstable, called Samphire.
This sea vegetable which has been eaten for centuries, at times as a delicacy, and at times and in certain areas as a staple, has certainly seen a revival in its fortunes so perhaps it is not surprising to find a restaurant named after it. One can only hope that cockles don't follow the same trend!
We investigated their menu, purely out of curiosity, to see if samphire was actually included on it and sadly, despite its otherwise impressive and delicious looking menu, it didn't. Perhaps this is due to samphire's seasonality though so perhaps it is worth checking back there during the samphire seaeson to see what they have to offer then. With dishes such as Rillette of home-smoked sea trout with pickled beetroot and Steak & Imperial oyster pudding, roasted root vegetables and stout gravy though, it's unlikely that you would go hungry.
Sometimes though, the delicious looking items on a menu can detract from its taste, though you'll have to try theirs to find out. But for those who yearn for a simple samphire recipe, here's one especially for you
Samphire with olive oil & lemon juice (Serves 2)
two tablespoons of olive oil or to taste
half tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the samphire (washed) into unsalted boiling water and blanch for around a minute. Drain it well and add the lemon juice, black pepper and a good quality olive oil.
Simply serve and enjoy.