When an uncurled fern frond first peaks through the soil in the spring, it is called a "fiddlehead". Fiddlehead ferns offer an earthy, nutty flavor that has been likened to the taste of asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms.
Hairy eggplant may be eaten raw by themselves or cooked in dishes to add a touch of piquant sweet and sourness -
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This item was last sold on : 05/02/16
Salsify root resembles a long, thin parsnip. Only slightly tapering in shape, Salsify can grow as long as a carrot. The white variety of Salsify is often hairy when harvested and a bit longer, the smoother, black variety has a more uniform shape. The flesh is cream-colored beneath a thick skin. Black Salsify is found to be the most preferred as it is fleshier, easier to peel, less fibrous and offers a more distinct nutty flavor. Even though they slightly differ in taste and texture, both types of Salsify are very mild and subtly-flavored. The flavor is very similar to artichokes, specifically the Jerusalem variety.
Salsify root is available year-round with a peak season from late fall through early spring.
Salsify is a root vegetable related to the dandelion family and originally cultivated for both its root and greens. There are actually two different plants, unrelated botanically, that are referred to as Salsify. Black Salsify is scientifically classified as Scorzonera hispenica and is not actually part of the Salsify family. It is commonly known as Spanish or Scorzonera Salsify. White Salsify is scientifically classified as Tragopogon porrifolius and is what most people think of when they refer to Salsify. The white variety is sometimes called Purple Salsify for the lilac-colored flowers that bloom on the plant in the spring. Salsify has a history of being called "Oyster root," though the name is a misnomer.
Black Salsify, specifically, contains as much potassium as bananas and is one of the best dietary sources of inulin, a form of prebiotic fiber that contributes to a healthy digestive tract. Salsify is low in sodium and offers a good amount of protein. The root has contains modest amounts of vitamin C, some B vitamins, and is a good source of complex carbohydrates. Plentiful iron and copper in the black variety can boost hair health.
To prepare Salsify, peel the skin and submerge the root in water with lemon juice or vinegar to maintain its color. Salsify is most often steamed rather than boiled, as boiling can lead to the root becoming mush. Once steamed, both varieties can be pureed and added to soups or stews as a thickener or served as a puree with chicken or other meat dishes. Young Salsify can be eaten raw, sliced thinly in salads. Slice the more mature root into coins for gratins or fritters. Salsify pairs well with garlic, parsley, and butter. To store, wrap in plastic; refrigerate. If Salsify is in good condition when purchased, it will keep up to two weeks. Check periodically to prevent the root from drying out. Black Salsify and White Salsify are interchangeable in recipes.
Up until the 1500s, Black Salsify was thought to have been effective in the treatment of the plague and helped rid the body of toxins. In traditional European cooking, the whiteness of the Salsify was of the upmost importance and great care was taken to maintain the color. Dishes often paired the winter root with cream or milk.
The variety considered to be “true” Salsify is the white, Tragopogon porrifolius variety. This variety is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and was first cultivated in Italy and France. Salsify was known more commonly as “goat’s beard” for its hairy appearance. It was brought to North America in the 18th century where it became popular in parts of the country and earned the odd name of “oyster plant.” Some chalk the name up to a delusional description made by home-sick Mid-western Americans longing for the taste of the ocean bivalve. Black Salsify was cultivated later than the white variety, and is native to a wider region of Europe and Asia. It was first cultivated in Spain, where it was known as Spanish Salsify. The most common Salsify cultivar seen in the United States is “Mammoth Sandwich Island”, which was developed in the 1860s. Some varieties, particularly the older European varieties, are no longer cultivated but can be purchased as seed and grown by home gardeners. Still popular in the United States and Europe, particularly in Belgium and Holland, Salsify can be rare and therefore pricey in areas where supplies are limited.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
|Dolce at the Highlands||San Diego CA||858-847-2740|
|Georges at the Cove||San Diego CA||858-454-4244|
|Cal A Vie||Vista CA||760-945-2055|
|Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen||Oceanside CA||619-990-0158|
|Bistro du Marche by Tapenade||La Jolla CA||858-551-7500|
|Paradise Point Resort Tidal||San Diego CA||858-490-6363|
|US Grant Hotel Main||San Diego CA||619-232-3121|
|Lodge at Torrey Pines Main||San Diego CA||858-453-4420|
Recipes that include Salsify Root. One is easiest, three is harder.
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