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Salsify – an undervalued root vegetable, with a delicate flavour.

5 yr, 4 m ago in Blog
Comments | Tags: UK, seasonal, Autumn, salsify, customer recipe, recipe

The unprepossessing salsify root  id=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:

  1. Peel and chop into similar sized pieces [2 inches or so].
  2. Poach it in a saucepan in a blanc* [to help it retain its colour], until it is almost cooked, but still has a bit of a bite. It can take anything between 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the size and freshness – very similar to parsnips.
  3. Or you could simply steam them
  4. Drain and pat dry, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a little olive oil and butter or ghee in a pan and pan fry the salsify until a light golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Check seasoning, add herbs if you wish…..

* 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 fryingRas-el-hanout - one of a range of herbs and spice mixes we stock.  id=

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