First, a word of apology. I should have blogged about this a couple of weeks ago when samphire was still available. It might still be available now, if you're very lucky (I got mine from Moxon's in Clapham), but the chances are that it will be a bit woody, which takes the edge off the pleasure of eating it a little. But only a very little.
But I didn't blog about it then because, as some of you will know, I've been acutely afflicted by a shocking I.T. disease called Twitter.
You want to watch out for it. You can try, as I did, to resist it for as long as possible. But from the moment you succumb, your life might never be the same again. Be warned. Be prepared for a period of adjustment. During that time, my top tips are: remember to breathe, eat, and sleep. Be prepared for strange looks from your friends, family, and partner/hanger-on/one-night stand. Also be prepared to respond to the question: 'Why are you writing to someone called hollowlegs?' I can tell you now - any answer you come up with will sound hopelessly dodgy.
So briefly and finally - but hopefully better late than never - a word about samphire and squid.
It's quite simple. Samphire rocks. It is one of the most lush foodie expressions of summer. Green, succulent, salty, and with a whiff of the sea about it, it's the perfect answer to a hot day. If you haven't tried it, put it on your list of things to do next summer. To cook it: steam it for 2 or 3 minutes, then serve with a generous shake of pepper and a generous knob of butter. That's really all there is to it.
And squid is hardly any more effort. Personally, I like to marinade it (it = opened out tubes + tentacles) for a few minutes in some olive oil, chilli, basil, garlic and a little lemon or lime juice. And then just throw it on the grill or into a hot pan. Cook for no more than a couple of minutes each side, and preferably less - you don't want it to go rubbery.
Wash down with a bottle of a super-chilled Pinot Grigio. There are few meals simpler, tastier, or more summery.
This is, of course, the 'before' photo. By the time I'd cooked the stuff, daylight had vanished under a storm cloud, and the 'after' photo suffered somewhat from being taken under artificial light. Trust me, it looked mighty fine to the naked eye, but rather off-puttingly lurid in the photo. Since I want to encourage rather than deter you, I've therefore left the 'after' version to your imagination. The important thing to remember is that it tastes completely fab.