Irish Seaweed Kitchen by Prannie Rhatigan

Irish Seaweed Kitchen by Prannie Rhatigan How do you make seaweed sexy? Take a passionate woman who happens to be an expert forager and cook, add a strong sense of place – the Sligo coast – scatter with a selection of recipes from well known (Domini Kemp, Hugo Arnold) and local Irish chefs (Brid Torrades of Sligo’s Tobergal Lane Cafe) and you have Prannie Rhatigan’s fabulous Irish Seaweed Kitchen.

An erudite cookbook that makes seaweed accessible to those who never had the opportunity to harvest duileasc, kelp or sleabhac, Rhatigan combines tempting recipes with tips on how to make the most of a large variety of sea vegetables. Seaweed plays a major part in some recipes – Filo Pie with Sea Spaghetti, Mushrooms and Apples, Duileasc Champ, Nori Pancakes with St Tola Cheese – but Rhatigan also has a wide range of recipes with unexpected additions: a seed cake with sugar kelp, cookies with sea spaghetti or alaria, duileasc in cheese scones. The Teddy Bears’ Picnic chapter gives a great selection of recipes that will appeal to kids and directions on how to set up your own clambake, a method of steaming foods – Ratigan includes lobsters, chickens, clams and mussels – in a pit with seaweed, had me salivating.

Alongside information on how to gently introduce seaweed to your diet and a glossary of edible seaweeds, there is also a well-photographed chapter on picking your own, with tips on where the different varieties grow. Just in case you don’t get a chance to splash around by the sea side, Rhatigan also includes the contact details for Irish and Northern Irish seaweed suppliers, including Bibliocook favourite and Foodtalk: Wild Food interviewee Seamus Moran of LoTide Fine Foods. That list – and a useful bookmark printed with a simple guide to preparing seaweed for culinary use – will give impetus to many people interested in embarking on their own seaweed adventure. A fascinating, delicious and inspiring read.

Irish Seaweed Kitchen by Prannie Rhatigan is published by Booklink. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy. More information on her own website at www.prannie.com. After being inspired by her cookbook, keep an eye on The Organic Centre website for her popular seaweed cookery demonstrations and walks.

Caroline

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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5 Responses

  1. Daily Spud says:

    I’ve just been admiring my copy of Prannie’s book, ’tis a thing of beauty (though I must confess that I have yet to cook from it). I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Prannie a couple of times and she’s a wonderful lady. Would love to do one of her seaweed cooking courses sometime…

  2. Vick says:

    Oh the book looks great, I would luv to forrage for seaweed and most of all understand more about it. I know people use it around home as a fertiliser on their gardens! x

  3. Caroline says:

    I think we’ll all have to watch out for Prannie’s next seaweed foraging/cooking course and head off into the West for it! I’ve started using duileasc when I cook chickpeas and beans – it certainly adds to the flavour of the liquor and makes a great base for soup. Must pick up some more seaweed on my next trip to the health food shop and play around with it some more.

  4. Jerome says:

    Prannie should have a TV slot based on healthy cooking, too often we have celebrity chefs emphasising the use of cream, butter, oil, sugar and frying with no consideration for health and the implications arising for the overuse of such products/methods.She is ideally placed for such a programme, given her medical background and knowledge of natural products.

  5. Caroline says:

    While I’d never complain about the use of cream and butter (especially butter, mmmmm!) in cooking, I do think that it would be good to see a balance. It would be great to see Prannie do a programme based on foraging and cooking. I’m always interested to learn more about what’s on offer in the world around us but, when it comes to the sea, I know very little.

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