Most people who’ve been rock pooling here in Staithes will have seen sea lettuce, ulva lactuca, and will remember it as that very slippery wrinkled bright green ‘carpet’ that they should not have stepped on…!  However, when seen in rock pools sea lettuce looks quite beautiful, swaying fronds of green leaf-like shapes.

fresh sea lettuce

Nutritional sea lettuce is very healthy, less than 1% fat.  It’s got a high percentage of iron as well as protein and it’s a natural source of iodine.  As well as containing vitamin A, vitamin B1 vitamin C.  Sea lettuce can be layered & dried in sheets and used like nori and it can make an interesting addition to soups as well.  Those of you who’ve been on one of our courses in the past know that we serve a lobster coral butter with crusty bread, well we will be adding sea lettuce butter to our menu in 2013.

While both of these butters are lovely just with crusty bread they are equally delicious when served with grilled fish or used to make a pasta sauce.  We spent a lovely few hours with Joan Ransley recently, Joan writes about food, cooking and life in Yorkshire, here’s her take on Lobster, sea lettuce and kelp crisps at Staithes.

While doing a little research about sea lettuce, the words ‘sea lettuce scarf’ kept popping up, now as it’s Tricia writing this and not Sean, a little textile interlude…:)  There is such a thing as a knitted sea lettuce scarf the pattern is one of Lucy Neatby’s designs. Here’s a picture of it, I really think I’ll have to have a go at making one of these…:)  but I think I’d have to use some of my own wool, hand spun then dyed first with weld to produce a lovely bright yellow then over dyed with woad giving a vibrant green…


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