Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Salsifis à la creme

In my vegetable box recently was some salsify. As far as I know, I had never had salsify before, but I had a faint recollection of Elizabeth David mentioning a dish of salsify in a cream sauce.

At this point, a sensible person would have found a recipe. A sensible person would have read how to prepare the vegetable. But I was lazy and decided that it couldn't possibly be more complicated than peeling it, covering it with cream and baking it. Could it?

Well, the first thing to know is that the long roots ooze a latex-y sap, which sets on your fingers and will not shift. Hindsight research tells me that the thing to do is to boil them before you peel them to overcome this.

The second thing to know is that they take a long time to cook. I baked them in cream seasoned with nutmeg, salt and pepper for 50 minutes and it wasn't even close. I ended up doing them in the microwave for 10 minutes and they ended up tender, the cream reduced to a thick luscious sauce and it was the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken with squash and courgettes.

The third thing to know is that salsify has quite a lot in common with Jerusalem Artichokes. Including some of the effects on the digestion. So not really something to eat when your priest, potential lover or future employer are coming over later, unless you know they have a puerile sense of humour.

14 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

what an interesting find in the vege box. I do like the thought of a creamy vegetable with a roast. Feels decadent.

maybelle's mom said...

totally funny post. i wonder if this is something to cook in a pressure cooker.

HH said...

I have never even heard of it though, but creamy veg with a roast is a win in my book. Yum! Shame about the side effects!

Foodycat said...

Mother - it is very decadent! That was about 300ml of double cream.

MM - would be good for the salsify but probably wouldn't reduce the cream down.

HH - I never saw it in Australia either.

kat said...

This is a vegetable we've never had either. Matt says its supposed to taste like oysters!?

George Gaston said...

Reading through this post was like going on a mysterious adventure. I loved your wise tip at the end, too.

Don't think I have ever heard of this vegetable and I'm glad you give us a 'heads up' about cooking it. Thanks

Johanna said...

LOL! I have never had salsify (I think the French eat them a lot), nor Jerusalem artichokes, we don't get either in Greece. I like all root vegetables despite their "effects on the digestion"...

Foodycat said...

Kat - I've heard that about the oysters too. Not really!

George - glad I could help!

Jo - me too, but there is a time and place for it!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Whoops! I'll keep an eye out for that!

Marie said...

Ha! I'm also guilty of not wanting to look up recipes sometimes and the microwave has saved me more than once. And good to know about the digestive side effect. :P

Foodycat said...

Natashya - learn from my mistakes!

Marie - glad I am not the only one!

mscrankypants said...

I've seen salsify in some gardening catalogues from memory, but perhaps it was the leaves having a medicinal purpose. My mind's all spinning now and I'll have to Dr Google it!

... I'm back, didn't find what I was looking for but I found a recipe for a salsify and truffle pie! http://www.classic.com.au/wizard/Salsify.htm

Debinhawaii said...

I have heard of salsify but have never really seen it. Interesting--that cream does look really decadent. Great tips if I ever come across one. ;-)

Foodycat said...

Cranky - salsify and truffle sounds amazing!

Deb - mmmmmm cream!

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