Sea brittle with Dillisk & Sea lettuce Flakes
Seaweed is not just for savoury fare it also adds a boost to some sweet dishes. Dillisk is rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and Potassium it also can be used as a tasty salt substitute, which compliments this sweet candy perfectly.
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cup of mixed seeds, Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
- 1 heaped tsp of Dillisk flakes
- 1 heaped tsp of Sea lettuce flakes
- 1/2 tsp of chopped Rosemary (optional)
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 240°F (soft-ball stage) on thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in seeds with a wooden spoon, then continue stirring until syrup crystallizes, 3 to 4 minutes. Return to the heat and allow the sugar to melt completely. When the temp reaches 300°F on the thermometer (hard crack) it is ready.
Carefully pour extremely hot caramel mixture onto greaseproof paper (24” x 12”) and carefully cover with another sheet. Immediately roll out (between sheets of parchment) as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, pressing firmly. Before it starts to cool peel back the top sheet and sprinkle on the seaweeds and herb. Replace the sheet and roll again. Remove the top greaseproof and cool brittle completely, then peel paper from bottom. Break brittle into pieces once cool.
Perilla* & Nasturtium Pesto
With Sea grass or Sea lettuce.
*Perilla is an Asian aromatic herb from the mint family and has a subtle taste of Basil and Anise. We have been growing the Perilla/Shiso plant now for a few years. It seems happy with our climate but really thrives in the poly tunnel. The Perilla leaves maybe substituted for any other herbaceous plants you may have such as Fennel, Marjoram, Sorrel or even Nettle.
In this recipe I have used Sea lettuce, which we have gathered washed, dried and milled to a powder. It is very high in Protein, Calcium, Iron and a great source of Vitamin C.
- 2 cups of chopped Nasturtium & Perilla leaves
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 level tbs of ground Sea lettuce
- 2 tbs of ground almonds
- 1 tsp of sherry vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Nugget of Parmesan, grated
Tip your ingredients into a blender and add the oil bit by bit. The pesto should last 4/5 days in the fridge. Freezing it is also an option, which is great when there is a glut of herbs. Just omit the Parmesan, you can add that once it has thawed.
Irish adventures don’t have to involve surfing slabs or abseiling down sea stacks. There’s wonder in the Wild Atlantic Way’s little things too, as I discovered on a shoreline walk with John Fitzgerald of Atlantic Irish Seaweed. Seaweed is “the most on-trend food thing we’ve seen in years,” John said, giving me a hands-on introduction to everything from bubbly bladderwrack to “the truffle of the sea” (that’ll be the peppery-pungent dulse, or dillisk). The workshops wind up with a tasting lunch. Seaweed champagne, anyone? — PÓC
My final stop is near Caherdaniel. Here I join John and Kerryann Fitzgerald, the husband-and-wife team behind Atlantic Irish Seaweed for a shoreline-foraging adventure.
We kick off with a cornucopia of tasting plates (think kelp spiced beef, or chai with bladderwrack and masala spices), before heading out to scour the shoreline for slimy goodies. Seaweeds were eaten by monks on the Skelligs, John tells me. “There’s so much good stuff in them, they make kale and blueberries look like kebabs and chips.”
As I’m leaving, he pops a few gifts into my boot — a jar of dried pepper dulse (a strong smelling ‘truffle of the sea’), a bath pack of dried wrack, and a bottle of elderflower champagne with sugar kelp. Perfect.