Also called “Scorzonera,” this is a black-skinned variety of salsify. Most varieties of this vegetable are grayish or pale golden in color.
A root vegetable belonging to the dandelion family, salsify is also known as the oyster plant because of its oystery taste when cooked. The root is similar in appearance to a long, thin parsnip, with creamy white flesh and a thick skin. In the same way as many root vegetables, salsify can be boiled, mashed or used in soups and stews.
A white-fleshed root vegetable with grayish skin that resembles a carrot or parsnip in shape. Salsify can be up to 12 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Salsify is known as “poor man’s oyster” for its mild oysterlike flavor. There are other varieties including one with a pale gold skin and another with a black skin (scorzonera). Although not common the U.S., it can be found in Spanish, Italian or Greek markets. Serve as a vegetable or use in savory pies, creamed soups, stews or side dishes.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Avoid woody roots and any that are oversized and tough. Select roots that are heavy for their size and free of defects and not too gnarled.
How to store: Refrigerate up to 7 days.
How to prepare: Peel and blanch. Then saute, fry or roast.