It may look like an ugly stick, or perhaps a Mandrake Root, but don’t judge salsify on its outer appearance. A skinnier relative of the parsnip, salsify is a delicious, versatile winter vegetable. Salsify belongs to the dandelion family and is also known as the ‘oyster plant’ because of its faintly oystery flavor when cooked though I think it tastes more like artichoke.
Salsify can be boiled, mashed, or fried like a potato, and it makes a yummy addition to soups and stews. A simple preparation is to peel the roots, steam them for 15 to 30 minutes, and then brown them in butter. And enjoy!
You can even eat the leaves. The light-colored part of the leaf, the bottom six inches or so, is tender and delicious, like the bottom of a leek, so give it a thorough washing and then a quick butter sauté, along with the roots.
Salsify was apparently a very popular vegetable with the Victorians, but it fell out of fashion in the 20th century and can now mainly be found at farmer’s markets and online specialty stores. It’s only in season from around October to January.
- 2-3 salsify roots
- 1 lemon
- 1T olive oil
- 1/2 t dijon mustard
- 1T white vermouth or apple cider
- 2 shallots
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, mix together zest from the lemon, 1 T lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, white vermouth, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, lemon, and mustard to your liking. Peel the salsify with a vegetable peeler, cut into matchsticks about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long, and quickly toss the pieces into the vinaigrette as you go to slow the browning. On a baking sheet, spread out two sheets of aluminum foil, about 10 inches long. Divide the salsify and vinaigrette between the two foils and sprinkle over the chopped shallots. For each foil sheet, fold one half over the other and then crimp the edges to make a packet. Place the foil packets on the baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until the contents are soft and have started to caramelize. Serve warm, pouring all of the accumulated juices over the vegetables.
Recipe from Food52
- 4 -6 small/thin salsify roots
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- A sprinkling of chopped parsley or thyme
Peel the salsify roots and place them in a shallow pan with water to cover, lemon juice, black pepper, bay leaf, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender (about 20-30 minutes, simmering, based on the thickness of the roots.) Remove the salsify roots from the liquid and let cool slightly, then cut into small pieces. Heat some olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until hot, then add the salsify pieces along with a sprinkle of coarse salt and a grinding or two of fresh black pepper. Cook until golden brown, then toss in the chopped fresh thyme at the end.
Recipe from Eggs on Sunday
- 1 lb salsify, peeled weight
- 4 oz piece of young ginger
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tbsp light oil
- 1 oz butter
- 1 tbsp honey
Cut the salsify into 3 inch pieces and steam until they are beginning to soften a little. Meanwhile, peel the ginger and cut it into fine ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Take the zest off the lemon and combine all the ingredients except the butter and honey in a large bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish, cover with foil and bake on gas mark 3 for one hour. Remove the foil, turn the oven up to gas mark 4 and cook for a further 40 mins, turning once half way through. Finally, turn the butter and the honey through the salsify, coating all the pieces, and return to the oven for ten mins or until the salsify has caramelised.
- salsify – as much as you want
- vegetable stock – enough to generously cover the salsify
- garlic – 2 cloves – crushed
- olive oil
- white wine vinegar
The quantities above are vague as they depend on the amount of salsify you have … and besides, it’s a pretty simple recipe. Peel the salsify, cut into desired lengths and drop in acidulated water (to preserve their whiteness). Bring some light vegetable stock to the boil and add the salsify. Bring back to the boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour until tender. Set aside to cool. Make a garlic vinaigrette to your taste … as a rule, 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, and as much garlic as you fancy. Drain the salsify, pour over the dressing and serve as part of a feast.
Recipe from Yumblog