Salty fingers – so what are they?
Salty fingers …. or to be more precise Salty Fingers®, is the brand name registered by the Dutch company, Koppert Cress, for a bizarre-looking edible leaf. It’s a tropical plant (although Abel and Cole source theirs from Cornish Beaches) which looks a bit like a succulent, but, not surprisingly Koppert Cress doesn’t specify its genus – and after concerted investigation I can’t find the information anywhere else either. They are apparently related to Sea Beans and Sea Asparagus (Salicornia).
These leaves have a not unpleasant slightly bitter, slightly salty taste. They look a bit like little tubes of green, liquid-filled gelatin (sort of thin jelly babies), but in fact they are slightly crunchy.
They go well with seafood (especially scallops), fish (add a few sprigs of them to a bed of salad topped with white fish fillets), and, weirdly, mushrooms. Abel and Cole describe them as “pomegranate seeds’ savoury sibling”. Koppert Cress suggest also pairing them with:
- Gin and Vodka – they suggest a gin and tonic with a slice of grapefruit and salty fingers
- Duck and goose
At The Runnymede On Thames they serve a starter of a duo of scallops with panko cod cheek, roast pepper jam, samphire and salty fingers.
And, if you are Frédéric Lafon, talented chef of l’Oiseau Bleu in Bordeaux, you would be doing some pretty fancy things with them – making tiny formed half-globes of mozzarella, covering them with tomato sauce, and adding a thin cheese wafer, a spear or two of wild asparagus…and some Salty Fingers.
They keep in the fridge for a week or so at a temperature of 2-7°C. They’re available throughout the year.
In the UK you can buy Salty Fingers here:
The Salty Fingers pictured below were served up at London’s appropriately wacky Hospital Club.
This is how Flavour Fields shows using Salty Fingers on YouTube: