Veg box

People in the vicinity of my kitchen early this morning would have heard an exclamation, which went something along the lines of ‘what in the name of Beelzebub are they?’  I was baffled by the contents of my veg box, which looked something like this.

Now I’ve had muddy carrots in the veg box before, but these seemed to me to be muddier than was strictly necessary. And anyway, that didn’t explain the fact that they’re all at least three carrots each in length! A little investigation revealed the items to be ‘black salsify’ which I have never heard of. Apparently, it’s a root vegetable and a member of the sunflower family. So far, so good (yes I’m getting my information from Wikipedia.)

Wikipedia goes on to say:

“The thick black skin of the salsify root is inedible and must be removed either prior to or after boiling. If the skin is removed prior to boiling, the peeled root should be immediately immersed in water mixed with vinegar and flour, in order to prevent discolouring. Since the root sap is extremely sticky, it is often more convenient to peel it after boiling the root for 20 to 25 minutes. ”

This is one high maintenance vegetable. I’m quite scared of it if I’m honest. What I expect I’ll do is leave it in the fridge for a fortnight, and then eventually make soup with it. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, full time Mum, based in London, UK

5 thoughts on “Veg box”

  1. We have had black salsify (also known as scorzonera) in our box the last two weeks. It is indeed high maintenance, and I somehow managed to get Pete to do the peeling last time. He says I can do it this time.

    I par-boiled it and then roasted it with other root vegetables, as chips. It has an interesting flavour, and Bernard liked it very much.

    This time I am thinking of using one of Jane Grigson’s suggestions (her Vegetable Book is very useful for this sort of thing) – boil it then bind it with cream and parmesan. She says serve it on its own but I think it would accompany meat like this.

  2. That is a fantastic blowfish of a vegtable and I’m very envious that you get to try that first before I had ever heard of it (or tried to grow some???)

  3. Ooh – I like the cream and parmesan idea, will have a go at that definitely.

    Tom GNTMP I will bring you some whenever we see you next as it sounds like we might get quite a bit!

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