October 19, 2016
Black salsify is not the most know vegetable but sure is tasty. Salsify is a root vegetable that belongs to the dandelion family. skinned it looks like a parsnip because of the white flesh.
It's common or native to Southern Europe and it's thought to have spread to rest of Europe from Spain. Even though the first mention of it, come from a writer that saw it in a market on Aleppo in Syria.
It is told that Celtics and German people have eaten it for being efficacious against the bubonic plague and snake bites.
Black salsify is rich in vitamin A, B1, E and C and contains as much potassium as bananas.
The biggest producers are Belgium, Netherlands, and France.
After you peel it, immerse immediately the salsify in water and vinegar or lemon to not oxidize. Another option is boiling with skin and peel it after.
There are many ways you can use it being boiled, mashed or in soups the most used. One of the many names that it has is the oyster plant because of the oyster flavor that it has when it's cooked. It goes well with garlic, parsley and can also be eaten raw if it's young root. In good condition can keep up for two weeks.
One of the products in the Ark of Taste is the salsify, because of the salsify sweet used in Evora, Alentejo. The sweet consists of cubes of crystallized salsify and accordingly with the Slow Food Foundation is "prepared by putting the roots in a pan and adding sugar, lemon or orange zests. Once the ingredients are well mixed together, the pan is taken out of the fire and its content is stirred until the mix dries. Once it is hard, the crystallized sweet is broken into pieces and wrapped in paper".
Around 50 years ago, the sweet disappear mostly because of lack of commercial interest for the product and competition with chewing gum. Nowadays the Slow Food Foundation in Alentejo is promoting its recovery. Some vegetable gardens are devoted to its cultivation and day by day, we are near to have this sweet available for any of us
Mostly salsify as the available peak between October and January, so now it's a good time to get to know this vegetable.
Get inspired with this recipes with salsify:
Slow Food Foundation
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