The other day at the farmers market David from Crescent Moon Farm pointed out that they had a small basket of salsify. It’s a root vegetable, similar to a parsnip. But, it looks like you hit a carrot with an ugly stick. Repeatedly. Sure sounds appetizing now. Why not buy a couple to try out?


Anyway, I was putting together a hodgepodge dinner the other night and planned on roasting potatoes. Not having had ANY experience with this particular veg, I did some internet research and found that salsify could be roasted in about the same time as the potatoes.

The recipes all said to peel it and immediately get it into a bowl of (culinary term of the day) acidulated water (just water with some lemon in it). As I peeled them (and didn’t bother with a bowl of acidulated water), they almost immediately went from gleaming white to an unattractive shade of brown. So that’s why they wanted me to use the lemon water!

They were just going to be roasted as part of a quiet family dinner, and there were only three of them, so I didn’t much care what they looked like. Salsify, (or Goatsbeard) is often called Oyster Plant for it’s oyster-like flavor. I found that the flavor was quite mild, and pleasant, but I didn’t taste the oyster (maybe because I’ve never had oysters).

What I did taste was a distinct artichoke heartiness. Others at the table said they did too. I love artichokes, and artichoke hearts. Another of my favorite things. So, I’ve been officially salsify-ed. I go through phases of more or less adventurousness with “new” veggies (our sunchoke gratin fiasco a few years ago is one I won’t soon repeat), but I’m quite pleased to have been introduced to salsify. I’m really not a parsnip person, so I think this would make a wonderful parsnip alternative in a root vegetable dish.

One last thing. I think I should mention that, though no one else in the family experienced this, let’s just say I could have wind-powered the whole neighborhood that night. Yep, I’ll leave you with that small warning.

8 thoughts on “Salsify-cation”

  1. bri!

    starting from the title, and down to the very last word. this is the funniest post you’ve ever written and that i have ever read. EVER. ahahahaha!

    i made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie once that did not call for salsify but rutebagas and parsnips. i wonder if you could throw some of these in too.

    thanks for this post!

  2. What an odd-looking vegetable! Definitely not one I’ve ever seen or heard of before, but if it tastes something like parsnip then I’ll have to keep an eye out for it – with heed to your warning, of course!

  3. What’s that you say? Tastes like artichokes? Never had salsify before, but now I’m SOLD!

    (pssst…thanks. You know for what.)

  4. Gigi – Thanks for dropping in! I’m stoked you enjoyed the article so much. Marc and I were a little at odds about whether to include the last paragraph. I felt it was needed, he felt it wasn’t very appetizing. My blog, I won. hehehe
    Yum, veggie shepherd’s pie. Yes, salsify would work perfectly in a recipe like that. Something with a variety of lots of root veggies.

    Ellie – Sure is odd looking. Seems to be abundantly in season at the our farmers markets these days since I saw them again yesterday, so you should seek them out. Just be sure company goes home early that night. 😉

    Tammy – Yes, like artichokes. I was surprised and at first, couldn’t place the flavor. Then with a couple more bites, realized what it reminded me of. Maybe you could mention it to your farm for your CSA share next year. And, you’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Bri, you make me laugh! What a great post! 😀 I’ve never tried salsify and you have me ever so curious! I will be sure to buy it the next time I see some. 🙂

  6. Cassie – I’m so glad I could give you a good laugh. So important to keep a sense of humor during hard times. Yes, let me know if you get your hands on some salsify. It’s good to “see” you again.

  7. Bri, you did the post. Great information [and funny too], I had no idea what it looked like or its taste. Now I must keep look out for some, it won’t be difficult to spot ’em. 😉

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