Sea lettuce can be a bit tricky to source off the coast, but can be found in specialty stores where the edible green algae is sought after for its high protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Sea Lettuce Butter Crust
1/2 cup (125 mL) sea lettuce, fresh, chopped coarsely (substitute wakame)
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
Process all ingredients in food processor for 3 to 4 minutes or until well blended and no butter lumps appear. Remove from processor and roll between two pieces of parchment paper until 1/4 in (6 mm) thick. Roll the mixture into a large rectangle. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Sea Lettuce Oil
1 cup (250 mL) sea lettuce, chopped coarsely
1 cup (250 mL) safflower or grapeseed oil
Place ingredients in small stainless steel pot. Turn to medium heat and bring up to 160 F (70 C). Immediately remove from heat and cool. Blend at high speed in blender for 3 minutes. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter, unsalted
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sunflower oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic, minced
4 cups (400 g) kale, stem removed, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried wild blueberries
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable or chicken stock
Place butter and oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except vegetable or chicken stock, and cook until kale is wilted or about 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and cook until liquid is reduced by 90 percent.
6 - 5 oz (140 g) pieces wild chinook salmon
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut sea lettuce crust into pieces approximately the same size as the salmon. Place the crust on top of the salmon. Bake for 8 to12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Divide sauted vegetable mixture among 6 plates. Place crusted salmon on top of mixture. Drizzle about 1 1/2 oz (45 mL) of sea lettuce oil around salmon, and serve. Serves 6.
source: "Sooke Harbour House", alive #311, September 2008
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.