Seakale is another forgotten vegetable. The taste of this rare sea vegetable is similar to that of asparaguses. However, seakale is a bit spicier, softer and has a richer flavour. The wild seakale grows in the ‘splash zone’ along the channel coast and is quite rare on our seadykes. In the early spring the purple-blue sprouts start to blossom. In the past these sprouts were collected and eaten, just like the thick roots. Other parts of the plant, such as the thick leaves of the mature plant, are chewy and inedible. Nowadays the wild sea cabbage is a protected plant species.
The origin of our sea cabbage
Our sea cabbage is grown predominantly in Zeeland. The mother plants grow outside on saline ground. In the fall the thick roots are brought indoors and grown in tanks until they produce lovely, juicy, white salty stems. Seakale stems are harvested from mid-December until the end of March. The harvesting of seakale is very labour intensive.
How to prepare seakale
You can either boil seakale for a short amount of time or eat it raw. It is important that you keep the sekale in a dark environment in order to prevent discolouring.
Seakale should be stored in a cool place. Storage temperature: 2 to 7 degrees Celsius.