Yes, you read right…. SEA BEANS!
Not a bean. Not seaweed. These little sea-vegetables are in a category all their own! And what an odd little veggie! Some people call Sea Beans “Sea Asparagus,” and while they used to be considered seasonal, they’re now found year round.
Sea beans are a great source of Vitamins A & C, as well as Iron & Calcium. They can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, blanched or baked. I tried them in Whole Foods the other day, in a salad made with simple, fresh ingredients, and immediately loved them. A new veggie! It’s the little things that get me excited!
While they’ve always grown wild, sea beans are now cultivated on the desert coasts of the Sea of Cortez where, grown in pure seawater, they absorb the nutrients of the sea. Sea beans are ultra salty so however you prepare them, you definitely won’t need to add salt!
I was told by the kind woman at Whole Foods to soak these in cold water for about five minutes prior to eating them raw. I think it softens them a bit and possibly releases a bit of the saltiness… though they were still incredibly salty! For the blend below, I happened to have just thinned some spinach and swiss chard in my garden, so decided to add those.
- 1 cup pre-soaked sea beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tbs chopped, fresh chives
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Squeeze from half of a fresh lemon
- 1/4 Cup fresh Baby greens (or other blended chopped greens
- 3 Good sized stems of fresh basil, leaves chopped fine
- 1 large stem of fresh mint, chopped fine
- Add 2 large Vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
- Top with a tsp or so of (vegan optional) Parmesan Cheese
Serve with fresh seafood, such as a Coconut & Lime Grilled Tilapia, and Enjoy!