Saturday, February 14, 2009
Salsify really really really good.....
Food of the Week: Salsify
Although, uncommon to most Americans,
salsify has been a popular root among wellknown
characters. In 1982, John A.
Freeman called salsify [the] very special
survival vegetable . In addition, the root was
one of the favorite items in Thomas
Jefferson's garden. Today the root is
popular in France, Russia, and Italy but is
fairly uncommon on the U.S. market. In rare
occasions it could be found on a local
farmer's market, or in a specialty store.
The Latin name of salsify is solsequium,
which means the flower that followed the
course of the sun. Salsify is a white to
tanned color root with a tender and mild
taste. The flavor has been described as
anywhere from asparagus and creamy
coconut to an oyster-like flavor.
Salsify grows for approximately 120 days to
a height of 3 feet and is either harvested in
October or kept in the ground until spring.
The root can be stored similar to carrots in a
cool environment with the green tops
removed to preserve the moisture of the
root. The greens can then be used in
The root is easy to prepare and can either
be roasted, baked, boiled, steamed, or
served au gratin.
Nutrition information (1/2 cup boiled):
Calories: 46, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2
g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg,
Sodium: 11 mg, Potassium: 192 mg,
Calcium: 32 mg
Because of its nutritional value, salsify is included as a "Very Special Survival Vegetable" by John A. Freeman in his 1982 classic, "Survival Gardening".
Orchard Farms of Sebastopol sells salsify at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.
It said to have a slight oyster taste and is often called the oyster plant. Others say it is a combination of asparagus and artichoke and that may be closer to the truth. It is really good and easy to prepare. It has a very thin skin which easily scrapes away. I boiled it and made a puree with butter and a bit of sour cream. It was delicious and I will definitely purchase salsify again.
wine recommendation: Korbel California Champagne "Rouge"
Some additional recipes from foodDownunder