It’s always fun to go to a new farmers market because you will inevitably find something that you’ve never seen before!
On a recent trip to the Truro Farmers Market, the three of us discovered Marsh Grass, AKA Goosetongue, AKA Passe-Pierre. After doing a bit of research on the internet, I found that this stuff is a type of seaside plantain called Plantago maritima. According to Bill Casselman, “Passe-pierre is an edible marsh green picked in midsummer, a tidal maritime plant whose spicy saltiness makes it an Acadian favourite picked fresh for salads or pickled in brine for winter use. Briefly, after the expulsion of the Acadians, passe-pierre was one of many subsistence greens for some Acadians who escaped deportation by hiding in remote areas of the Maritimes.’
You’ve got to love food with history!
So what do you do with this stuff? It’s much saltier than your average greens, but otherwise cooks up very similarly and keeps a nice texture after it’s cooked. Marla tried hers a few different ways, but liked it best simply tucked into an omelette.
I played around with mine a bit too, and found that it tasted absolutely phenomenal sauteed in some unsalted butter, and topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar right before serving. Just for fun, I topped it all off with some toasted almonds – probably not the most traditional Nova Scotian preparation, but it sure was tasty, and pretty enough for company!
Yours in Food,