Asparago di mare A.K.A. Samphire
Mmmm... seaweed! here's a vegetable I would have run away from as a child if it had ever occurred to my mother to serve it. Having tried it as an adult, I can say that it's delicious. The English call it "samphire" and it grows in a few coastal areas including Norfolk, where I had it for the first time about a decade ago. Its also rather common here in Italy where it's called Asparago di mare (Asparagus of the sea). This is probably more for the looks of the vegetables than for the flavor. Samphire tastes of the sea, its stalks seem to be pumped full with sea water. This veg obviously goes great with fish and is for sale, in fact at fishmongers and never in the vegetable aisle.
To prepare, just drop into some unsalted boiling water until tender, about 4-5 minutes, then if you're a typical Italian, you'll drizzle on some really good olive oil. If you're a traditional Brit, you'll melt a pad of butter on top. Either way, it's a simple and delicious dish.
To eat: Samphire can be a lot of informal fun. It comes in clusters that resemble long, thin green hands (creepy, no? Just the thing for kids who hate vegetables. I can hear Calvin's mother now: "O.K. Calvin, it's time for fillet of sole with mermaid fingers!") If the samphire is on the large side, there is a filament at the "wrist" that you should hold on to as you put the samphire in your mouth and scrape with your teeth as if this were an artichoke leaf. If the samphire is small, you just eat everything.