This week we have a new member to the farm box: Salsify. The purple flowers punctuate the fields this month and are a striking compliment to the green grasses. We decided it would be fun to include this interesting vegetable this week. The plant is native to central Europe and is a member of the daisy family yet its root has a distinct and mild flavor of asparagus. It's also loaded in potassium, calcium and protein.
The whole plant can be used. The root, once peeled, can be roasted, added to soups, grated and made into fritters or cooked and pureed, the stalk can be cooked like asparagus and the flower can be added to salads or whipped to make a compound butter. And if you don't want to cook them, put them in a vase and watch the flowers open as the morning sun hits them.
The harvest this week also includes:
Kale, the last of the green garlic, Lisbon white scallions, a mix of young leaves, a head of lettuce, fava beans, eggs, purple collards, carrots & revolution bread in the Thursday box.
Here's a simple recipe for a roasted root:
3 large or 6 thin/small salsify roots
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A sprinkling of chopped parsley or oregano
1-2 tablespoons of salted butter
Carefully peel the salsify roots to their pale core and place them in a shallow pan with water lemon juice, black pepper, bay leaf, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender (about 20-30 minutes, simmering, based on the thickness of the roots.) Remove the salsify roots from the liquid and let cool slightly, then cut into pieces or leave whole. Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until hot, then add the salsify pieces along with a sprinkle of coarse salt and a grinding or two of fresh black pepper. Cook until golden brown, then toss in the chopped fresh oregano at the end. Heat a small frying pan and add butter to a sizzle. Sauté the bread crumbs. Finish with a sprinkle of crumbs for slight crunch.