This was the seaweed that came from the team at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute! The lab grew four sea vegetables in HBOI’s IMTA system: Red Seaweed, Sea Lettuce, Sea Purslane, and Sea Asparagus. After studying the sea plants, they found that they’re all low in calories, almost fat-free, contain no added sugars, and are a good source of high-quality protein, fiber, and potassium! Plus, the seaweeds and sea vegetables contain beneficial salts; the sea vegetables have the highest amounts of these salts. You can purchase the sea vegetables they grow through Monterey Bay Seaweeds!

I love learning about new SEA VEGETABLES! This savory tart is super simple to make and a great way to incorporate these vibrant, healthy veggies from the oceans into your cooking! 

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After I top the buttery puff pastry with a flavorful base of shallots and mustard and layer on gorgeous green asparagus, I sprinkle it with the sea vegetables, along with Gruyere cheese, and then bake in the oven until it’s golden and delicious. 

The asparagus and sea vegetables have surprisingly complementary flavors that work beautifully together in this dish! 

Where can you find sea veggies? Look for them at farmers’ markets on the coasts or order them online from  Monterey Bay Seaweeds. If you’re unable to find any for this recipe, you can always use seaweed instead! Here are some options for sea vegetables:

  • SEAWORT: Seawort are succulents that grow in patches in loose sand, typically in areas with lots of seashells and rocks. The plant is crisp and slightly sour, and is also known as sea asparagus for its flavor.
  • SEA BEANS: Sea Beans are succulents with thin, fleshy, multi-segmented stems. They grow in the wild in salty soil along the coast or inland in marshy areas, and are best when foraged in the late spring and summer months (that means now!). They’re crisp, crunchy, juicy, and salty like the sea. 
  • SEAWEED: Seaweed is an all-encompassing term for algae species that grow in and around the sea. There are so many different kinds to explore — you can learn more about them in my Sea Pantry section!

COOKING TIP: It can be tough to properly clean the little stalks, so blanch them in boiling water for 30 to 90 seconds, then shock in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once you have your blanched sea beans, all you really need to do is dress them with your best olive oil and add a little lemon and olive oil for a great addition to this tart! 

Makes 6 Slices


  • 12 ounces pie or puff pastry
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and peeled 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces seawort, sea beans, or seaweed, rinsed and cut into 2-inch pieces 
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Defrost the puff pastry and roll out. Form it into an 8-inch rectangle on a baking sheet. Cut pieces to trim and raise the edges. 
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg with the Dijon mustard. Brush the pastry lightly with the egg mixture. 
  4. Poke all over with a fork (this technique is known as docking) and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  5. While the pastry cooks, peel and finely chop the shallots. 
  6. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. 
  7. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, toss the asparagus in the olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes in the oven.
  9. Spread the cooked shallot over the par-baked crust. Top with an even layer of the grated cheese and seawort. Arrange the asparagus spears on top. 
  10. Bake until the asparagus is tender and the pastry is all well browned, about 15 minutes. 
  11. Cool on the cookie sheet for ten minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack. 
  12. Let the tart cool, cut into pieces, and serve at room temperature. 

Want more ways to eat sea vegetables? Try this Kelp Guacamole with Poached Shrimp & Kelp Chips!