Miss Ginsu: About/Bio


Q. What is Kritamo?

I recently found myself wondering, "What is kritamo?" You, dear reader, may have the same question.

Is kritamo:

A. Wild rock fennel.

B. Briny, Grecian shoreline weed

C. Exclusive Whole Foods weed.

D. All of the above.

The kritamo is figure 1. Image from this site.

Yup. It's all that and more.

Kritamo (also known as rock fennel or samphire), is a wild Grecian seaside herb that's reportedly a bit difficult to harvest and apparently available domestically at Whole Foods.

Kritamo often appears in salads, though it's not likely to make a cross-Atlantic trek in a form other than in alongside olives as a seasoning ingredient (it absorbs the briny flavor of the Mediterranean).

I'm thinking kritamo could also happily make a substitute for the brininess usually brought to the party by capers.

If you actually get your hands on some, why not try a simple Kritamo-Lemon sauce for pan-fried fish or fowl?
Kritamo-Lemon Sauce

2 tsp kritamo, chopped (or substitute capers, drained)
4 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

1. In a skillet or saucepan, melt butter
2. Sautée garlic 1-2 minutes, or it just begins to color.
3. Add lemon juice and kritamo or capers. Reduce heat and heat for 30 seconds.
4. Remove from heat and add parsley, if using.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle immediately over cooked chicken, fish or steamed vegetables and serve.

Anyone have more experience with Kritamo? I'd love to hear about it. Post in the comments if you've got tips.

Miss Ginsu

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Blogger jeanniezambetaki said...


I am lucky enough to live on the island of Crete and have ready access to kritamo as my house is near the sea. I usually collect it between May and June before it starts to flower when the leaves are still young. I give it a really good wash, and then boil water and pour it over the collected kritamo. When it has cooled, I put it into a glass jar, and cover it with wine vinegar and a little oil on top to stop any air from getting through. I use it throughout the summer months in salads and as side dish to seafood plates.


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