Roasted black salsify with caper and chives is a simple vegan side dish.
Winter is all about root veggies and this makes me so happy! Salsify is one of those rare and weird root vegetables which can be easily hated by so many people. I believe it’s because of the blend and boring preparations. But with a little bit of love, lemon juice, chives and caper salsify can be an extremely delicious and satisfying side dish, salad or snack.
Salsify? What the f*ck is that again?
Black salsify or scorzonera hispanica is a lesser known superfood, a winter root vegetable. It’s an ugly brown stick, which can be used in various dishes. Salsify can be cooked, roasted, sautéed, fried, puréed, you name it. It tastes like something between a white asparagus and a parsnip. I would argue with this one, but the internet says it tastes like oyster. Salsify is high in iron, copper, calcium, vitamin A, C and E, helps you with your digestion, keeps your hair healthy, prevents cancer, heart diseases and many more.
I had never heard of salsify before I moved to Germany, but apparently it’s a very popular thing here. You can buy fresh or canned salsify in basically every supermarket this time of the year. Cooking magazines and sites are also filled with recipes. It is popular to use black salsify as “poor people’s asparagus”, so they serve it with hollandaise sauce or gravy or often cook it as a cream soup. It’s a long story, but I am skeptic first about every vegetable they sell in jars in Germany. Yes, I hated kale when I moved here (I still don’t like the canned version), it’s so hard to believe it now. However at the end I realised they are all fantastic little vegetables and now I love them. Of course!
- 1 kg/2.2 lbs salsify roots
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice + zest
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- 2 tbsp caper
- salt, pepper
- Fill a large pot with water and add lemon juice.
- Wash and peel salsify, and cut them into 5 cm/2inch. Place immediately in lemon water.
- Cook them in lemon water for 10 minutes, then drain them.
- Mix them together with olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at 200°C/400°F or until golden brown. Stir salsify pieces halfway through baking time.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest, freshly chopped chives, caper and black pepper. Serve warm. Enjoy!