If you've never tried a samphire salad then you need to! This vibrant salad is salty from the samphire, juicy and sweet from the tomatoes and acidic from the balsamic vineger. It's a great combination of complementary flavours and delicious with summer fish or chicken dishes. It's even great by itself!
Samphire is a delicious and slightly underused vegetable. Maybe people don't know how to cook it and that's why it's not as popular as it should be. Anyway, I hope you'll try this samphire salad as it's become as popular in our house recently as my other favourite samphire dish - buttery samphire with garlic and lemon.
That recipe is one I love to serve warm and this samphire recipe is a cold dish. It's easy to prepare in advance and ideal as barbecue season starts as it goes so well with grilled marinated meats and fish.
Ingredients for samphire salad
To make this simple salad you'll need:
- Samphire - Also known as sea asparagus, sea beans, salicornia and glasswort
- Tomatoes - I usually use cherry tomatoes as they are sweet and juicy and a perfect match with the salty samphire.
- Red onion - A little finely diced red onion adds an extra flavour dimension. If you don't have red onion then Spanish onions or mild brown onions will also work. Or you can miss them out.
- Mozzarella - This is optional but I like so add some as it adds a creaminess to the salad and also goes brilliantly with the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
- Balsamic vinegar - This really is the best vinegar for this salad but if you don't have it you can substitute it for red or white wine vinegar. It's not the same but still tasty.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Use a good quality olive oil but not too much.
- Black pepper - I love to be generous with this!
How do you prepare the samphire
If the samphire is really young and tender you can use it raw but usually you need to cook it a little first. I blanch it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain it and put it in a bowl of cold water to cool quickly.
Once it is cold, drain it again and you can prepare the salad.
How do you prepare this samphire salad?
Once you've blanced the samphire it's simply a matter of mixing everything together. See the recipe card further down the page for full instructions.
What can you serve the salad with?
I like to serve this with sea bass but I tend to omit the mozzarella when serving it with fish. It's also great with chicken skewers, leftover roast chicken or as part of a summer buffet meal.
I can even eat this salad just as it is as a light main meal.
How can you adapt this salad?
There are all kinds of ways to adapt it. I mentioned some ways earlier. For example you can omit the mozzarella. Or you can add another cheese. I also like this samphire salad with feta in or with grilled halloumi.
If you want to add some extra vegetables then why not add a little asparagus. It goes really well with the samphire and the other ingredients.
If you want to make it more substantial, it also works well as a potato salad with samphire. Cook some salad potatoes and stir them into the salad.
Where to get samphire?
I normally get it in the supermarket. Sainsbury's sells it as do other big UK supermarkets these days.
If you live near the coast you might even want to try foraging for it. You can find out more about foraging for marsh samphire here.
Can you prepare this salad in advance?
I prefer to prepare this salad on the day that we're going to eat it if it's for guests. Samphire is quite delicate and doesn't keep for too long. It's fine to prep it a few hours in advance though. It should keep for about two days in the fridge.
More salads recipes you might like
As I said, this salad works really well as part of a buffet meal. If you are looking for more buffet salad recipes then why not try one of these:
You might also like my main course salad recipe collection.
Samphire Salad with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar
- 140 g samphire
- 130 g cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ red onion finely diced
- 70 g mozzarella diced into large chunks (optional)
- Pinch black pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. When it is boiling, add the samphire and boil for about 2 minutes.
- Drain and plunge the samphire into a pan of cold water. Let cool and then drain again.
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together.
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