Salsify is a somewhat unprepossessing vegetable - long and spindly and usually covered in dry dusty mud, it can look a little unappetising. However, one of our regular customers is a big fan and has kindly sent us some suggestions as to how to use it to really get the best out of it. Here's what she writes:
It is white when peeled and needs to be put in acidulated water [water with a squeeze of lemon] straight away, to avoid it going brown.
Like most root vegetables it can be served roasted, poached, mashed, gratin.
My favourite way is to:
* A blanc = water with juice of a lemon and white flour whisked in. Make a paste with the flour, then add water and lemon juice. It might add a slight hint of lemon but otherwise it does not alter the flavour. It has anti-browning properties and this is a useful old fashioned method when cooking white root vegetables like Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, salsify, etc., if you want to them to retain their colour.
Other ideas [although the flavour is delicate so this can be too much, but also can be delicious]:
Caramelise with a touch of maple syrup, added at the last minute when pan frying
Season with a pinch of ras-el-hanout when pan frying