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In Search of Salsify

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Back in December, in our fall CSA from Sandy Spring, we got salsify in the box. A fuzzy strange looking vegetable.

I had no idea what to do with it, but went on line and started reading. It turns out that it is in the sunflower family, and the vegetable we see is the root of the purple salsify plant. It isn’t very common around here, but has been cultivated in other parts of the world to a greater extent.

It tastes like oysters, believe it or not. I went and found a huge collection of recipes on this site, vintage recipes. For one of my eat local challenge meals, I made the simple fritters recipe from the Boston cooking school cookbook of 1896. Cooking all of what I had from the CSA, and wishing afterwards that I could have had more of it.

I started searching for it. Found some really hard, gnarly ones at Harris Teeter in Maple Lawn. They were OK but not as flavorful as the fresh ones. It is going to be a quest at the farmer’s markets to ask if anyone does plant them. Since they are the root of a sunflower, I am guessing it will be pretty late in the season for me to see local ones, if at all. I may just have to identify a source and buy it in the fall or winter when it is ready to harvest.

If not there, I will also be checking out whether the new Wegman’s will have them. They did not at the Wegman’s in Frederick, although they have another root veggie I like, sunchokes. That is a topic I will write about sometime in the future. I find it a fascinating byproduct of the CSA, veggies you would not pick up on your own and make.

Anyone ever found salsify around here?


6 responses »

  1. Ohh wow I have never even heard of this vegetable, root like thing. It looks interesting!

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