Seaweed has been unnecessarily limited to the realm of east-Asian cuisine, making only rare appearances in the average American’s diet as sushi or miso soup. In this series of posts I am hoping to introduce you—dear reader—to a few varieties of sea vegetables, including some unconventional ways to use them. There are many benefits associated with the culinary use of sea vegetables for both humans and the environment, so let’s get ‘em on our plates!
Apparently, today’s kids are crazy about seaweed sheets. I used to consume seaweed strips like nobody’s business before they were cool. I recognize that I may already be biased towards the flavor of sea vegetables, but fear not! I am fairly certain that these recipes will appeal to a wide range of palates.
Sea Vegetable #1: Laver
Also known as “Wild Atlantic Nori”, this red sea vegetable has a nutty flavor that can be coaxed out by a few minutes of oven-roasting. When I tasted laver straight out of the oven, my culinary reflexes screamed: quiche! My French host-father is a phenomenal chef and has graciously provided his quiche recipe to be shared on this platform. I paired the roasted laver with caramelized onions and smoked Gruyère, but there is plenty of room for flexibility with your choice of cheese and other add-ins.
Recipe: Laver Quiche (adapted from Mr. Cabaret’s Quiche)
This recipe was provided in metric units of mass (grams) which I have roughly translated to standard volumes (cups, etc.). If you have a scale, which I think should be a basic tool in everyone’s kitchen, then defer to the metric measurements!
4 large eggs
1 cup (100 g) grated cheese (strong flavor like Gruyère, Emmental, or parmesan)
3/4 cup (200 g) heavy cream*
½ cup (100 g) whole milk*
~ 3/4 cup (200 g) add-ins (cured meats, cooked vegetables, caramelized onions, etc.)
Handful of roasted laver leaves**, cut into bits
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste (also just a pinch of each)
- Make crust and line a ~10” pie pan with it.
- Preheat oven to 390 °F.
- Spread add-ins evenly inside of pie dish to ensure an even distribution.
- Blend all filling ingredients together with a hand-mixer.
- Fill pie dish with blended filling and spread roasted laver bits on top.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Quiche should be just barely set in the center, but should not appear to be a liquid in the center.
*The dairy component can be 300-400 grams total. A higher ratio of milk will result in a light flan texture, whereas a higher portion of cream produces a rich custard. The ratio above is Francois’ preference.
**Leaves should be inspected prior to use to remove any shells or other debris that may have gotten caught up in the seaweed.