Dulse Rhodophyta

(Pal­maria pal­mate)

Country Life Every Week - - Kitchen Garden Cook Radicchio -

Once con­sid­ered an in­com­pre­hen­si­ble habit of the Celtic fringe, eat­ing sea­weed has now be­come very fash­ion­able in Bri­tain, if not ex­actly main­stream. The main is­sue is how you cook the stuff. Most sea­weeds have spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tions in the kitchen and you can’t simply boil them up. How­ever, dulse is the ex­cep­tion be­cause you can. It can be boiled or steamed like cab­bage and the re­sult is very cab­bage-like in ap­pear­ance be­cause the red fronds turn in­stantly green on cook­ing. And the taste is very sim­i­lar if you for­get the fairly strong flavour of io­dine. I eat about half a dozen sea­weeds, but dulse is my favourite be­cause it’s so ver­sa­tile and, of course, it tastes good and is ex­tremely nu­tri­tious. I col­lect about 65lb ev­ery year. What I can’t eat fresh, I wash and dry on my daugh­ters’ tram­po­line in the gar­den. I dry it fur­ther to crisp­ness in a low oven, then blitz it in a pow­er­ful blender un­til it’s nearly a dust. Sprin­kled on scal­lops or sea bass, it beats any fancy sauce.

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