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.