When it comes to ugly root vegetables, you don't get more "wtf am I looking at?" than salsify. It looks like a really dirty, skinny parsnip, and like the parsnip, it has creamy, white flesh. This fantastically named veg that may make you want to swivel your hips a little is native to Southern Europe and is also called "oyster plant" because it kind of tastes like oysters when cooked.
So how much nutrition is salsify packing? It's a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and sodium, as well as vitamins A, B1, E and C. Not too shabby.
When you have a root vegetable that you don't quite know what to do with, you tend to default to the usual: throw it in soup or stew, mash it up or fry it. But before we even get into how to cook it, let's talk about how to clean and peel it.
After giving the roots a thorough scrubbing, grab your vegetable peeler and have at it. Do it under running water to keep your hands from getting sticky from the root's milky sap. Salsify oxidizes so throw it in some water with lemon to keep it from going brown.
The other method of peeling requires a few more steps, but some people think it's easier… and not as sticky. Check it out:
So, are you ready to dig in?
Sink your teeth into some succulent salsify with these nine fancy schmancy recipes.
Vegalicious serves up some mouthwatering crepes that put this ugly root to beautiful use.
If you prefer to have your salsify as a side, check out this recipe featured on Food52. Combine your salsify with some shallots and lemony mustard vinaigrette, fold it up in some parchment like a little envelope and pop it in the oven.
Speaking of 2015 food trends, braising is supposed to be big this year, so why not try Martha Stewart's recipe for braised salsify?
Now we're getting really fancy. We fell a little in love with this recipe from Chef Richard Corrigan. Despite looking luxurious, it's relatively quick to make — you got 30 minutes? If you're planning a Valentine's Day date and seafood's your jam, this recipe will knock anyone's socks off.
We've never seen a fritter look more gorgeous than these salsify fritters by Passports and Pancakes.
This dish by Yotam Ottolenghi is a perfect main for vegetarians and a perfect side for omnivores who want to chow down on a bit of meat.
Salsify is complemented by roasted garlic in this delicate and delectable soup from Eat Like a Girl.
Chef Richard Corrigan serves up another mouthwatering seafood dish. Unlike the turbot, this recipe requires a bit more prep and cooking time. But anyone who loves scallops will surely agree it's worth the investment. Just take a look at those results.
Last but certainly not least, Vegalicious delivers a side dish that will make vegetarians and omnivores alike demand seconds. You can't go wrong with caramelized anything. This recipe is definitely a must-try.