Hi friends! Alix here. One week ago we were in the Somme Bay visiting Hugo’s family and making food together, eating food together and basically just having a beautiful time. The Somme Bay is a gorgeous 14 km stretch of water in the Picardy region of France. Hugo grew up close to the bay; about 20 km away in a little town called Friaucourt. We love having family reunions there and enjoying everything the area has to offer. We were told that you can hike across the bay during low tide with a guide. None of us had ever heard of this and thought it sounded like great fun so we decided to get together and hike across the bay as a family. We absolutely loved it and we really recommend you do it if you will be visiting this gorgeous part of France!
This is where we got the idea for our sea plant pesto recipe.
The bay is known for many different reasons. It is a foodie’s paradise. The area is rich with edible sea plants, sea snails and tiny and delicious mini shrimp. It is also known for it’s special lamb : agneau présalé. The lamb eat the sea plants which give them a slightly salted flavor when cooked.
This area had welcomed artists and writers who were in search of a seaside retreat; most notably, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne and Degas.
The trek across the bay leaves from Le Crotoy. Le Crotoy offers some lovely restaurants so make sure you arrive early enough to eat a lovely lunch before starting your hike across the bay. Once you cross the Somme Bay, you will arrive in Saint Valéry sur Somme which is such a beautiful little town. We will be spending time there in August and sharing lots of information with you about this jewel of a place soon.
We ate at a wonderful restaurant before our trek called Le Carré Gourmand. We loved what we ate so much that we decided we would do a review article for you about Le Carré Gourmand. Make sure to come back soon to read our review.
So, back to our trek! We left from Le Crotoy at 1:30 pm – fully prepared with sunblock, bottles of water, a backpack and a silk shawl (I always carry one when I know I will be in the sun for any extended period of time). Wearing shoes for the trek is optional. You can go barefoot if you like, which is what we decided to do. It is extremely muddy so either way you will be covered in mud! We also wore light cotton pants that we can roll up (they have elastic bottoms) that protect from the sun but add very little heat. We bought them in Cambodia!
We set out to discover the Somme Bay!
Our guide showed us some hairy worms that live in the bay. These worms actually have little teeth that you can see when you hold one! We thought that was pretty amazing! The birds love munching on these little guys which contributes to how many beautiful birds you see in the bay. Our guide shared the story of a man who lives in the South of France who pays 7€ for 10 of these so that he can go fishing. Our guide thought that was hilarious given how easy they are to find yourself in Picardy!
Our guide also found, and shared with us, this incredible sea creature! None of us had any idea what it was. We had never seen anything like it! We were impressed by how easily he found it in the sand and pulled it out to show us! Apparently, you know where they are hiding under the sand based on the size of the holes you see when walking. The holes you see are the air holes they make. Who knew?!
We also learned about the four different types of sea plants that you can pick and eat as you walk across Somme Bay.
“Les oreilles de cochon”
While walking, our guide invited us to taste each of these delicious sea plants, each with its own distinct flavor and texture. We were thinking of what we could make with these delicious plants and we came up with the idea for sea plant pesto!
We realize that this is a difficult recipe to make at home without these amazing French sea plants – so hop on a plane and visit France! 😉
Once you have the ingredients, this recipe is easy to make! (If you have similar, local plants where you live that you can supplement for this recipe, please let us know!)
Finely chop the sea plants. Use a food processor to blend all of the ingredients.
This is the finished magic green sauce from the Somme Bay!
We made this pesto to go with our BBQ fish for lunch.
We made a second helping of sea plant pesto to top our pasta dinner the next evening. We thanked Somme Bay for the wonderful sea plants!
Have you ever made a dish with plants you foraged?
- 100g of salicorne
- 50g of pompom
- 60g of pine nuts
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A pinch of Safran
- 10cl olive oil
- Mix in the food processor.
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