Laver seaweed is found on the coastlines of the British Isles. It is a traditional food of Wales and is boiled and either dried or puréed for use as laverbread. Laverbread is used in many recipes as a basic ingredient, and it can also be substituted for spinach in many dishes.
Laverbread--A Welsh Tradition
Laver seaweed or laverbread is unusual because the "leaves" are only one cell thick. It has been harvested in the British Isles for centuries and is most closely associated with South Wales and the town of Glamorgan. It is similar to nori, used for sushi in Japan.
Laver provides vitamins A, B, C, E, K, thiamine and pantothenic acid. It also contains the minerals phosphorus, potassium, iron, iodine, copper, manganese and zinc. It is low-calorie, at about 10 calories per ounce, contains no sugar or cholesterol, and is about 7 per cent protein.
Laver seaweed can be purchased as a canned purée or in dried sheets. To prepare your own laverbread: Collect the laver. Wash thoroughly with fresh water. Boil for several hours to soften. Dry in sheets or purée for canning.
To make laverbread breakfast cakes, combine 2/3 cup puréed laverbread with 1/3 cup oatmeal. Form into small cakes or patties. Pan-fry in butter or bacon/sausage fat to accompany breakfast dishes.
Laverbread Sauce for Four (to accompany meat, usually lamb) For added flavour, this sauce should be prepared in the same pan used to sear the meat dish. Ingredients: White wine, puréed laver, Seville orange zest, butter, seasoning. Step 1: After searing the lightly oiled meat, deglaze the pan with 56.7gr. (50ml) of white wine. Step 2: Add 118ml. (100ml) of liquid meat stock or gravy juice, stirring over heat to reduce slightly. Step 3: Add the zest of one medium-sized Seville orange and 56.7gr. (50g) of laver, swirling the pan to mix well. Step 4: Add butter to emulsify the sauce and season to taste. Serve hot and under the meat. For more laverbread flavour, garnish the meat with a half teaspoon of puréed laver (http://www.laverbread.org.uk/recipe.html#h).
Laverbread is used for breakfast egg dishes and quiches and also makes delicious sauces to accompany hors d'oevres and canapes. It accompanies meat and seafood dishes in many different recipes. Dried laver can be used to replace spinach in many recipes--reconstitute it by soaking in cold water for an hour or so.