This root vegetable is also known as oyster plant because its taste resembles a delicately flavored oyster. The parsnip-shaped salsify can reach up to 12 inches in length and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The most commonly found salsify has a white fleshed root with grayish skin, though there are varieties with a pale golden skin, as well as one with a black skin (also called scorzonera). Though salsify is more popular in Europe than in the United States, it can be found here from June through February, usually in Spanish, Italian and Greek markets. Choose well-formed roots that are heavy for their size and not too gnarled. Refrigerate, wrapped in a plastic bag, up to a week. Salsify is generally eaten plain as a vegetable, or used in savory pies and soups.

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