Samphire and New Potato Salad

Potato and Samphire Salad

When I was growing up the word ‘potato’ came across as a call to action; fry, chip or mash – we must do something! New potatoes aren’t, and never will be, in vogue with five year olds, but as we get older, a little wiser and a great deal fatter, their brilliance reveals itself. When boiled until just the right moment the new potato, whatever the variety chosen, possesses a pleasantly substantial texture and subtle, somewhat nutty flavour that lends itself perfectly and inimitably to the creation of “salads”.

Of the varieties I have consumed, the Jersey Royal is by far my favourite new potato. With the same Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) as champagne or Cornish pasties, the Jersey Royal is grown only on Jersey, a British territory off the north cost of France. They have been cultivated on the island for over 130 years using seaweed (Vraic) harvested from the beaches of Jersey as a natural fertiliser. Happily, peak Jersey Royal season – May – will soon be upon us, so you can expect one or two more new potato treats in the coming weeks.

Truly fantastic produce is always best served alongside ingredients that share some of its characteristics or origins. New potatoes and samphire may not, on the surface, seem like they are cut from the same cloth, but when you consider the Jersey Royal you can see that they both in some way benefit from the sea. Marsh samphire, or glasswort, is a wonderful, salty ingredient which grows in many places, primarily along the coasts of Europe. If you live in a coastal location you’re likely not too far from a bush or two of samphire, which makes it easily forageable (and therefore frugal). In truth, the characteristics of samphire may be rather different from those of new potatoes, but they marry together very well indeed, with the former adding a touch of salty freshness to the earthiness of the latter.

Potato and Samphire Salad

It’s likely that many of you will struggle to get your gastronomic digits on Jersey Royals. Of course, this doesn’t really matter as any new potato will work well. Simply choose your favourite and away you go – it’s difficult to go wrong with this wonderful potato salad. There is, of course, no mayonnaise in sight.

If you’re after another early-spring recipe, why not check out my Radish, Watercress and Potato Salad?

Samphire and New Potato Salad

Serves 2-3


• 400g new potatoes, halved

• Two handfuls of samphire

• 1 rasher of smoked bacon, finely sliced (optional)

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 3 tbsp olive oil

• Salt

• Pepper


1. Pop your halved potatoes in a small pan, top up with water and boil with the lid on until tender, but not falling apart. Once cooked through, run briefly under a col tap and set aside.

2. Crisp your bacon up in a pan with a drizzle of very hot oil, tip out onto kitchen paper. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Transfer everything to a salad bowl, add the samphire and mix thoroughly before serving.

Potato and Samphire Salad

Cost: Though a little more expensive than regular spuds, new potatoes and a relatively cheap vegetable at around £1 per kilo. Samphire is also fairly inexpensive, particularly if foraged. As such, this wonderful “salad” should set you back no more than £1.50.


106 comments on “Samphire and New Potato Salad

  1. cookinginsens
    April 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I’ve never heard of samphire. Interesting.

  2. beingmeyear
    April 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Not often you see a recipe for samphire or ‘sampy’ as they call it round here – it grows wild on the salt marshes near us and there’s always a few people out gathering it each spring. Sounds like a nice salad, may give it a go myself this year!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

      That’s fantastic that you have a source so close!

  3. narf77
    April 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Looks lovely BUT the only samphire I have been able to find…Earl got to first :( even after a wash, a scrub, a sterilise, I am disinclined to eat that samphire 😉

  4. Karen (Back Road Journal)
    April 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Your salad sounds terrific…I make something similar with tiny green beans. I had samphire in a restaurant in France but had know idea what it was…although delicious.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

      thank you so much – that’s a great idea. Samphire is used a lot in France.

  5. Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    April 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Love new potatoes. A good new potato is seriously the best, no butter or too much jazzing up needed. This simple salad looks great.

  6. Kathryn Morrison
    April 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    This looks interesting…never heard of Samphire before. I wonder if it’s available in the US.

  7. Megan
    April 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for educating me on a new thing, too! I’ve never heard of Samphire either. I live in San Diego, so I’m not sure if I will be able to find it, but I will keep an eye out for it especially when traveling! Thanks!!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am

      It could be tricky, but you may do at a market.

  8. cookdinetinker
    April 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Ah god, new potatoes are the best! I could eat them just boiled with a bit of butter slowly melting on top. Mmmm… So mindblowling delicious!
    Great post!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Absolutely! But that wouldn’t make that interesting a recipe.

  9. Our Growing Paynes
    April 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    This looks delicious. I’ll have to look for samphire the next time I’m over there.

  10. mittsandmeasures
    April 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Hmm…samphire… I’m going in search of!

  11. andreamynard
    April 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Looks wonderful, great idea pairing new potatoes with samphire. I once waded through mud to find samphire on saltmarshes in the lovely Gower peninsula in Wales but it may be a tad easier to head to a fishmongers to try this recipe!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      The Gower peninsula is lovely (I’m Welsh :D) I’m not sure I’d do too much wading for it though… Actually, I would 😀

  12. Ashley - baker by nature
    April 25, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    This is SUCH a gorgeous take on potato salad!

  13. saucygander
    April 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    An Irish friend gets misty eyed about new potatoes. And no mayonnaise – this is a blog after my own heart.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      I think the Irish are hard wired to like potatoes – I get misty eyed too, though I’m not Irish.

  14. thepaddingtonfoodie
    April 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    How delicious. To my mind mayonnaise does not belong in potato salad either.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Now and again is ok, but it doesn’t do it for me…

  15. pomonakernow
    April 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Yummy :)

  16. Conor Bofin
    April 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Great stuff Nick. I cooked some samphire in a parcel with cod (post following). I love it. We spent some time in the south of France near Narbonne. There are huge salt marshes near there and samphire is everywhere. The idea of matching with the potatoes is excellent.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      That sounds wonderful – definitely on the to try list!

  17. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    April 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

    What a nice, light potato salad. Katherine would love it. (Me too.)

  18. angelica | table twenty eight
    April 26, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Samphire certainly seems to be an up & coming ingredient du-jour, appearing in recipes I’ve come across lately. Although I can’t say that before today I knew exactly what it is..!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Isn’t it pretty? You should definitely get your hands on some.

  19. myjourneythrume
    April 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    This is a lovely trip down memory lane for me. When I was a kid and we used to go and stay with my dear Nan and Grandad, we would often have samphire. They lived in Norfolk, a big samphire growing area. Nan would soak it in pickling vinegar. I loved it.i haven’t had it in years. Thank you for a great recipe which is a great reminder of happy memories for me. I’m definitely going to buy new potatoes on my next grocery trip and some samphire and make your recipe. Thanks :-)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

      That sounds wonderful. I hope you like it – glad I could be the bearer of nostalgia.

  20. Velva
    April 26, 2013 at 3:04 am

    I can totally relate to the quality and taste of a new potato. Delicious!
    I have never seen samphire. I will need to keep my eyes and ears open to locate these delicate greens.


    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Yes, keep a look out – samphire is wonderful.

  21. Mandy being Mandy
    April 26, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Looks so good! Your photos are gorgeous!

  22. Juls
    April 26, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I have a mental amount of samphire right now and am pretty much to the dregs of fresh ideas so you can guarantee this is on this weekend.
    I think when I did a samphire recipe on my old blog, we discovered that, due to it being such an English/French thing, it’s hard to find in the USA and when a reader did track it down it was called ‘sea asparagus’ . . . I don’t know the truth of this, but it may help any Americans who can’t find samphire!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Fantastic 😀 – glad I could help, Juls. It is indeed called that, don’t know why…

  23. emmycooks
    April 26, 2013 at 7:41 am

    What a genius combination! Potatoes always benefit from a little brine and here in the Pacific Northwest it is indeed easy (or at least possible) to find sea asparagus. Can’t wait to try this.

  24. glutsandgluttony
    April 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Lovely lovely lovely. It brings back memories of paddling across the marshes of North Norfolk on holiday collecting samphire.

  25. lolarugula
    April 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve never heard of samphire – this looks wonderful!

  26. veghotpot
    April 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I am still yet to try samphire, I was never sure how to use I do :) I love new potatoes too

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Glad I could be of assistance – it’s a lovely ingredient.

  27. silverbells2012
    April 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’d never heard of samphire until a friend mentioned it recently in connection with foraging…. I used to live by the coast but unfortunately, not anymore!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      It’s easy to find in supermarkets these days too.

  28. zoealexis
    April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love the notion that potatoes are typically a call to action, it’s so true! I think you’re also right to say that we ought to get back to appreciating a thing for what it is, and pair it masterfully with other things that bring out its great qualities.

  29. Carolyn Chan
    April 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    We watch the River Cottage series and one of our favourite parts of the show is the foraging – your dish looks delicious !

  30. Chica Andaluza
    April 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Will def be making this as for a short time longer while I am still in England I can actually get hold of samphire to make this beautiful potato salad!

  31. MixerUpper
    April 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Looks so delicious and interesting! I’ve never had samphire and I want to try it! Delectable photos, too. :-)

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Give it a go – it’s a fabulous ingredient.

      • MixerUpper
        April 27, 2013 at 11:38 pm

        Where can I find it? Must I forage? 😉

        • frugalfeeding
          May 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          You could – but I’m sure some grocers will sell it!

  32. Jacqueline Raposo
    April 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    “Rasher of smoke bacon” and “samphire”. Do we even speak the same LANGUAGE FF? This looks delicious – I’m making some new potatoes for brunch tomorrow and wish I had some of this samphire stuff to trade for the chives I’m using. This looks beautiful.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Not quite, not quite :D. Chives are amazing in a potato salad!

  33. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    April 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Nice! Samphire is one of those veg that we read so much about but I’ve never had a chance to try! :)

  34. Susan
    April 27, 2013 at 4:12 am

    I love samphire, and I agree it’s lovely with Jersey Royals. In the US they don’t have samphire per se, but they can get something similar called “sea beans.”

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Interesting! They call samphire sea asparagus I believe.

  35. lambyknits01
    April 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Wow – I love coming here and discovering new ingredients! I have never heard of a samphire :)

  36. Sho'Nuff
    April 28, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Can’t get samphire where I am… but I bet fiddleheads would work?? FWIW: I was a kid who ate new potatoes sliced thin, raw, more or less straight out of the ground.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      What on earth are fiddleheads?! That’s the best way to grow up 😀

      • Sho'Nuff
        May 5, 2013 at 2:31 am

        Oh! Fiddleheads are the tips of certain wild ferns, just as they come up from the earth. An asparagus is something “like” a domesticated fiddlehead. You cans sometimes find them in upscale markets for absurd amounts of money… but you can harvest them yourself for free if you know what you’re looking for.

        They serve them quite a lot in Japanese cuisine…

  37. Michelle
    April 28, 2013 at 4:17 am

    What a great use of samphire! Such a lovely, salty green. Also good with white beans, as in Brittany.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you, Michelle – it’s such a wonderful ingredient.

  38. droolfactor
    April 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

    It’s difficult to get samphire here in Australia too! I love them though and this dish looks delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

      That’s a shame – I don’t know what to suggest as a replacement.

  39. Kavita Joshi
    April 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    wow…yummy..I need to try making this…good carbs

  40. Corina
    April 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    It looks lovely. I’ve made a very similar potato salad but with green beans. I’ll have to try it with samphire next time I see it for sale.

  41. sweetveg
    April 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Yay! It was so fun to look at your site and see a recipe with sea beans (yes, yet another name for them!).They are so yummy and salty and go so well with potatoes. Frugal, too, if you live on the coast and know where to pick them. Way to go!!

  42. Stephanie
    April 29, 2013 at 4:44 am

    That samphire sounds so interesting! This looks delicious with those little curls of bacon on top.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      You should definitely try and find some! It;s great!

  43. Kim Bultman
    April 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    The simplicity of this dish is very appealing. Not drowned in heavy dressing. Just “potato” salad. Love it! I’d have to substitute something for the samphire, though… maybe young asparagus spears? This salad makes me want to go on a picnic.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      thank you – I like a light salad! Well, they call samphire ‘sea asparagus’ in North America, so it seems appropriate!

  44. dedy oktavianus pardede
    April 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    shame on me, i just realise that greeny thing is samphire
    i though it was plastic christmas tree branch, hehehe
    btw your salad is beautiful…

  45. Willow
    April 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I’m not a fan of the classic bucket-of-mayonnaise potato salad, but something light and simple like this sounds delicious! I’ve never had, nor even heard of, samphire, though. Perhaps a trip to England would be required to find some.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Absolutely – mayo is ok from time to time, but this is much nicer. They call it sea asparagus over there…

  46. Somer
    April 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    You lost me somewhere in the potato discussion, but I’m happy to be introduced to Samphire, I’ve never seen or heard of it before. I like that you haven’t used mayo in the salad :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Haha – sorry! I love potatoes. You should find some, it’s a great vegetable.

  47. sybaritica
    May 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I don’t think samphire exists on the western side of the Atlantic, but I don’t ever recall seeing when I lived in Britain either. I’d love to give it a try!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      It does! Try ‘sea asparagus’! It may be tricky to find though.

  48. gillbla
    May 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Having spent a year in Norwich, I am well and truly converted to the wonders of samphire. Sadly, whilst it’s cheap as anything in Norfolk, it gets sold as a premium “foodie” item elsewhere. I have to ration myself. This looks like a brilliant way to let it shine. Thanks for visiting my blog by the way.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

      It can be found cheaply, but it is tricky. We got it on offer. No problem 😀

  49. gemini232006
    May 6, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Looks like a beautiful dish. I will have to try this, although I am not sure I can get samphire anywhere around here.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Thanks – it may be called ‘sea asparagus’ where you are!

  50. Liz
    May 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I love anything and everything with bacon…

  51. Moira
    May 16, 2013 at 4:07 am

    This looks incredibly basic, but I bet the flavor is amazing!

  52. Bloghaus
    July 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Sadly, samphire and Bavaria don’t go together. I loved it when my friend’s Mum used to bring it up from the coast near Brighton.

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