Thursday, 13 September 2012



Scallops and samphire...2 things that don’t feature on the average teenage vegetarians weekly meal planner, however over the last few weeks, when we were in the Outer Hebrides, we came to eat rather a lot of them.

Deserted windswept beach on North Uist, Outer Hebrides.

Lobster pots

In fact I can’t believe that this time 2 weeks ago we were picking samphire on a windswept Hebridian beach and diving ..Well snorkling in my case ..for scallops.


Before the memory is swamped by routine I thought I would share it with you in case you have a chance to escape for a seaside walk this weekend and gather your own samphire or even scallops!

I have to confess I didn’t actually get many scallops...(a few technical hitches with my duck dives!!), unlike Richard, but I did haul lobster pots - see Richard Bramble’s blog

and fab photo’s of the boys braving the waves to check the lobster pots on my birthday!! 

With Richard’s local knowledge and years of practice we dropped pots and caught several lobsters as well as collecting great hauls of scallops from different locations.

Lobsters on the beach

Fresh lobster straight from the pot

The lobsters were SO beautiful we were all inspired to paint or photograph them, and the velvet crabs, that had also climbed into the pots. 

Beautiful Lobster tail.

Velvet crab

Teen V wasn’t too impressed by the whole catching and cooking of the lobsters, feeling it was rather barbaric. 

It brought to the fore the whole reason why she became vegetarian in the first place, she enjoyed the samphire more.

Picking samphire in North Uist

For the rest of us it was fantastic to catch something and eat it.

 Luckily on the day we had our big Pollock haul Teen V was elsewhere as I’m not sure she would have appreciated the Pollock slithering in the bottom of the boat around her feet..despite the delicious Pollock curry we had later that evening.

That was the day we saw the sea eagles close up, which was spectacular.

Fresh Pollock 

Richard Bramble and H with the prize pollock.

I don't in principal like to put pictures of people on this blog. I prefer the food to be the main feature. However I do have to make an exception here, just to show off the huge Pollock because I'm sure no one would have believed me if I had started to explain just how big it was!!! 

So, if you are looking for a starter, side dish or healthy snack and happen upon some samphire it is well worth the effort- minimal!-  of picking some.

It is delicious lightly fried in a little olive oil and butter for about 4 minutes. It has been called sea asparagus and I can see why.

Samphire in butter and olive oil. 

The other night I threw handfuls into the spinach sauce I was making for pasta and was surprised how well it went. I also added it raw, to the mixed green salad and again it worked really well.

It is best picked in July and August so get hunting before the season is over!

Returning from a day out in North Uist

The next time I tuck into a scallop, a sprig of samphire or a fish curry I will think of the windswept landscape of North Uist. 

No comments:

Post a Comment