Sea asparagus, although quite salty, is actually good for you; it’s loaded with minerals including calcium, iron, Vitamin B and C and high in Vitamin A. Sea asparagus is abundant on the western and eastern coasts of Canada, found growing along saltwater beaches in protected coves during mid-summer. You can also look for sea asparagus at farmers’ markets like the Victoria Public Market and at the Granville Island Market in Vancouver. We happened to find sea asparagus at a summer outdoor market during a stay in Sitka, Alaska.

Yes, sea asparagus is a vegetable and looks like the garden variety of which we are all familiar. Due to the crunch and briny taste, sea asparagus is a natural fit with most types of seafood. You can use it cooked or blanched to sprinkle atop shucked oysters or over smoked salmon, minced or chopped. You can also steam or boil sea asparagus, like green beans, and use in salads, soups, and omelets. Because of its high salty content, a little bit goes a long way. Pickled sea asparagus can be purchased at some health food stores; try blending it with basil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts for a pesto, or mix pickled sea asparagus with tuna for sandwiches.