Pepper Dulse

pepper dulse

Pepper dulse, osmundea pinnatifida grows on the mid to lower shoreline and I think it is the smallest of all the sea vegetables I forage. This sea vegetable is in season from December to May and best harvested with a sharp scissors and much patience.  Growing only 1 – 8 cms in length makes it fiddly to work with. However, it is worth the effort, pungent and full of flavour. I love it fresh but if you are adding it to a salad, just remember a small bit goes a long way. Use it like you would a herb not a lettuce! Dried and crumbled, it is perfect as a seasoning for seafood dishes. It is considered quite a delicacy and  in some circles is known as “the truffle of the sea”. See http://www.seaweedcistin.com/recipes/ for recipe ideas.

Dulse – Palmaria Palmata

  • Dulse (Palmaria palmata) Full of that umami flavour!

Plamaria Palmata also known as dulse, dillisk/dilsk or creathnach is coming the end of it’s season. A good reason to get out there if you haven’t already and harvest some of this natural wonder. It’s classed as a superfood due to it’s dense nutritional value and has a distinctive umami flavor, especially when fried or roasted in the oven quickly. Researchers at Oregon State University say that they have recently “discovered the unicorn – seaweed that tastes like bacon” www.oregonstate.edu and it’s really just this old Irish favorite.

This seaweed is a red algae that grows along the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is in season from June to September. It should be cut carefully making sure you do not take too much from any one plant and always leaving the holdfast (where it attaches to the rock or other seaweed) undisturbed.

The blades (leaves) can vary in shape depending on the location and age of plant. It branches out into finger-like extensions and grows at the low water mark and shallow sub tidal areas. Can often be found growing on the stipes of the Laminaria Digitata and Hyperborea at a very low tide.

 As you can see in this photo, use a sharp scissors to give the plant a little trim! Then move onto the next one…