Salsify is a root vegetable – belonging to the dandelion family – that was a staple of the Victorian diet, and is generally available between October and January.
Like many root vegetables you can boil them, mash them, or use them in a stew.
A higher quality specimen will be firm and smooth, preferably with the green tops still attached.
Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall offers recipes for salsify fritters, salsify tempura with spicy dipping sauce and salsify gratin.
In a clip from his TV series The F Word, Gordon Ramsay outlines how to make crushed celeriac and roasted salsify.
He says: ‘Salsify tastes like a cross between artichoke and turnip. Don’t overcook it, is it adds great texture to the dish.’
Gordon Ramsay Restaurants offers a recipe for roasted lamb with charred calcot onions, artichokes and salsify purée.
Pictured: Salsify in blankets, a vegetable twist on the classic pigs in blankets
How to make Salsify in Blankets
Source: Great British Chefs
- Three batons of salsify
- One juiced lemon
- 30g of butter
- Five rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut in half
Step one: Put the lemon juice into a bowl of water. Peel the salsify, slicing each baton into three pieces. Immediately place it in the lemon water to prevent discolouring.
Step two: Heat the butter in a pan and add the salsify, cooking it in the foaming butter with a pinch of salt for five minutes, or until al dente.
Baste and turn the salsify for an even gold colour. Remove and allow it to cool.
Step three: Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Step four: Once the salsify is cool enough to handle, wrap each baton in half a rasher of streaky bacon and place on a baking tray.
Oven cook the salsify in blankets for 10–15 minutes or until the bacon is crispy, and serve.