Industry leaders describe the brown leafy vegetable as salty, sweet, firm and gluten-free, although it can take on different textures depending on preparation techniques. In April, kelp grown by Bren Smith in Connecticut’s Long Island Sound waters was served at a White House dinner — a first, he said, for domestically cultivated kelp.
Here are a couple of ways to bring it to your own table.
Simple Kelp Salad
From Bren Smith’s kitchen
• Pull the sugar kelp leaves from their stems
• Blanch the leaves 15 seconds and cool
• Add vegetables of choice
• Lightly dress with an oil-based dressing
• Toss and serve
From chef David Santos of Louro,
New York City
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 cup diced onion
• 10 thinly sliced garlic cloves
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups chopped sugar kelp
• 1 pound high-quality butter, room temperature
Mix and spread.