July 24, 2017

Green and Crunchy

Salsola komarovii - Saltwort or Oka Hijiki

Janine Pineo Photo | Salsola komarovii – Saltwort or Oka Hijiki

While it didn’t wash ashore, saltwort does look like something that could be floating around in the ocean. And since it does thrive in salty conditions, it’s no surprise that one of the common names for the plant is land seaweed. Salsola komarovii is a lovely green with an appealing crunch when eaten fresh. The long leaves and stems can be steamed as well, a traditional way to serve it in Japan where it is also called seaweed mustard or Oka Hijiki. It does not have the bite a mustard often has; instead, it has a green flavor that simply tastes fresh, like baby lettuce leaves. Easily grown from seed, the stems can become tough and woody and the ends get prickly over time, so you might want to consider succession plantings. For such a simple plant, it is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, calcium and potassium.