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What is Salsify?

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What is Salsify?

Have you ventured into cooking salsify? This exquisite root vegetable is more popular in Europe than the United States so it might be challenging to find at the market. However, salsify is exciting to cook with and worth a trip to your local specialty shop.

What is salsify?

This stalky root vegetable is similar in appearance to parsnips, albeit a thinner perhaps longer version of the vegetable. It has a thick brown skin and cream-colored interior.

Salsify is sometimes called oyster plant or black salsify. It is in season from autumn until spring.


photo by Beck/Flickr

What does salsify taste like?

Salsify is rich in umami and some liken its flavor to oysters. It may be roasted, boiled, sautéed, mashed or cubed and added to soups and stews. 

How to Buy Salsify

If you are lucky enough to stumble upon salsify select unblemished stalks with a thick root.

How To Prep and Cook Salsify

As with any root vegetable you'll want to scrub the salsify under running water. Peel and place in a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

Alternatively, you could boil the salsify until tender and the skin will rub off easily. You could then slice into rounds and sauté with butter and pepper for an easy yet delicious side dish.

Salsify Recipes: Fun in The Kitchen 

In this creative recipe from Italian chef Moreno Cedroni salsify is used to create a sumptuous sauce to be served along amberjack fish, deer roe and Jerusalem artichoke.

Learn how to make it.

Salsify Tagliatelle

Believe it or not, salsify makes a great gluten-free pasta. One of our favorite salsify recipes is salsify tagliatelle. It is easy to make: simply peel the salsify, shave into strips using a vegetable peeler, boil until tender then add to your favorite pasta sauce. Yum!

Oven Roasted Salsify Recipe


photo by June Darville

In this recipe from June Darville she dresses up oven roasted salsify with lemon and white wine, a classic combination that yields great results. Find this salsify recipe here.

A to Z: 26 Things to Know About Edible Roots

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