Sea beet is similar to spinach, but its glossy, pointed leaves are fleshier and growing more flavoursome. It can be found growing on the edges of beaches, coast paths and other areas of coastal wasteland. It can be picked and cooked throughout the year. The young leaf growth is actually great to eat raw in salads. This campfire brunch is quick and simple to prepare, particularly if you have some leftover cooked potatoes.
200g of cooked new potatoes
1 colander of young sea beet leaves, washed and courser stalks removed
2 fresh duck eggs (or chicken eggs)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
25g of butter
2 tbls of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Set a large frying pan ober a medium heat. This can be in the kitchen or over a fire on the beach. Add the olive oil, followed by the potatoes. Cook them, tossing occasionally, for 8-12 minutes. They should begin to take on a little colour.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pan of water to the boil and add the sea beet, cook for 1-2 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender. Drain, allow to cool a little, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Roughly chop the leaves. Add the leaves to the pan along with butter and sliced garlic, fry for a further five minutes or so, then use a spatula to clear space into which you can crack the eggs. Carefully crack the eggs and continue to cook until they are done to you liking. Season everything with salt and pepper to taste then serve.
Image: Philip Hartley
Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist, and cookery teacher who lives and works near Lyme Regis in Dorset.