I got an email that read “Damn you are so adventurous with your meals. What’s next?” I must admit this made me smile and laugh. I am unsure if I am adventurous or curious. In my latest curated box was Salsify. Seriously what the hell is Salsify? This item didn’t even look appetizing. The long black “sticks” reminded me of witch’s fingers, or if I were to place them in the food realm, super dirty carrots. I am a big believer we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouth. This really reminded me of Hubbard Squash (as it belongs in the scary looking food category).
I learned Salsify comes in black and white varieties. They are a skinnier relative of the oyster plant and belong to the dandelion family. It’s also known as the ‘oyster plant’ because of its faintly oystery flavor when cooked. Let me be clear this oyster flavor was NOT faint, and the flavor of oysters should only come from oysters. Not one to be bested by a culinary challenge, I felt the best way to cook this was by roasting, as the dry heat of the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables, which brings about an amazing depth of flavor in most vegetables. This was NOT one of them. No one in my household liked Salsify, albeit the rooted vegetable provided laughter, plenty of funny facial expressions, and the best comment I heard all week which was “What’s wrong with these fries? I think they are spoiled.” Have you tried Salsify? If so, how did you prepare it? For the bold, here is my recipe.
How to Prepare Salsify. As a root vegetable, you’ll need to scrub the salsify under cold water before using. You’ll need to peel with the vegetable peeler. Cut into slices- think French fry thickness. Place in cold water with a s squeeze of fresh lemon juice as they will oxidize on you. Once all Salsify is cut, drain water. Give them a good rinse. Place in a bowl and toss in some minced garlic, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, sea salt, and toss in garlic olive oil. Place Salsify in a skillet in an even layer. Roast them at 325, for 20-40 minutes. At the 20- minute mark, flip them over. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt.