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Salsify oxidizes very quickly when cut, so you must drop it in acidulated water (water that has a bit of acid – like lemon juice – added to it) immediately after peeling or slicing the root. The Chicago Tribune posted even more tips, including:

  • Wear rubber gloves when preparing, as both types of salsify can discolor your hands.
  • When boiling or parboiling salsify, stir in one tablespoon each flour and lemon juice to prevent the roots from turning gray. 

Flavor Salsify sparingly, no matter which method of cooking is chosen. Steaming is preferred over boiling as it breaks easily. Once cooked, cut as desired. To store, wrap in plastic; refrigerate. If in good condition when purchased, it will keep up to two weeks. Check periodically to prevent the root from drying out.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on salsify of either variety, there are a surprising number of lovely recipes to try. Like this one for  salsify provencal(excerpted from Diane Morgan’s book), which pairs the root with tons of garlic and parsley, or this little salsify gratin number. Here are a few delicious-sounding salsify recipes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, including salsify fritters, salsify tempura and a salsify gratin with kale (yum!). Hank Shaw over at Hunter, Gardner, Angler, Cook has a couple of great salsify recipes, including Salmon with sorrel and salsify or salsify fritters with oyster mushrooms and oysters (he calls it “Oyster, Oyster, Oyster” – get it?). The Chicago Tribune has a couple of great salsify recipes, including salsify slaw and salsify pancakes. And the New York Times serves up an awesome-sounding cream of salsify soup (truffle oil optional).

For more salsify recipes, I urge you to check out Diane Morgan’s book, Roots, for a treasure trove of ideas, including Scorzonera Wrapped in Crisp Proscuitto, Scorzonera Fettuccine in Mushroom Cream Sauce and Salsify Oyster Stew, among many others. 

Other ideas include:

Pan-fried loin of venison with butternut squash, roasted salsify, venison jus with dark chocolate and Brussels sprout salad

By Daniel Galmiche

  • Lamb steaks with anchovy butter, salsify and walnuts

    By Martin Blunos
  • Roast teal, purple sprouting broccoli and salsify

    By Tom Kitchin
  • Braised beef short ribs with salsify and bashed neeps

    By Mark Hix
  • Sole Diamond Jubilee

    By Andrew Turner
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