Named ‘The Winter Asparagus’, I had never heard of Schwarzwurzeln (black salsify) before moving to Germany. And if buying produce based on appearance, I’m sure I would have walked on by these dirty scrawny sticks in a grocery store. But, my online Bio store recommended them, and with the claim that they taste of asparagus, I was sold.
After a search for recipes, I decided to try a puree of salsify. With potatoes, milk, butter and loads of cream, it spoke of glamorized mashed potatoes. My original plan was to make it as a side along with a broccoli stir-fry this past Thursday night, but that got derailed when T was invited to stay at a friend’s place for supper (yahooooo!) and I was on my own happily eating leftovers.
So, I decided to make the filthy sticks last night for myself, as T had a friend sleeping over and they wanted grilled panini sandwiches. The most challenging part of their meal was lugging up the heavy transformer from the basement, as the panini maker is a Canadian appliance. Prep is just buns slapped with meat, cheese and mayo – it takes the appliance longer to heat up.
While they ate, I prepared the puree. Not only are the scrawny salsify dirty, they can also leave a nice orange stain on your hands if you don’t wear gloves. After a good scrub, the salsify are peeled like you do with white asparagus, and the dirty stalks are transformed into shiny white sticks. As the stalks are rather skinny and keep snapping in half, and having to peel back all the layers of dirt, it can be tedious work. Especially while your son keeps interrupting asking if he can burn various things in the candlelight while giggling away with his friend. Thirty minutes later after peeling, peeling and peeling, I was tempted to toss them and order in a pizza.
But I prevailed. My original plan was to also make the broccoli, but after searching for almost as long as the salsify peeling to find the steamer basket, in the spidery basement that I HATE, I gave up and decided to just go with the puree.
Luckily, the recipe was easy peasy and supper was ready in 15 minutes. Normally, Fridays are steak nights in this household, with hubby picking up a nice aged tenderloin at our local market. But hubby is in sunny South Africa at the moment, and I don’t even know how to turn the grill on.
I have to say my bowl of white salsify puree looked a little lonely, and a little boring. But, the taste was yuuuh-mmmm! Asparagus is on the mark, but I would say it was a bit sweeter. Definitely worth all the hard peeling prep work. And, packed with iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, salsify is good for lowering blood pressure and boost the immune system. So I could eat my second bowl of roots guilt-free! I was also starving.
Still would have been nice with that big grilled steak.
4 thoughts on “Salsify my life”
I so enjoy reading your blogs and I love your writing style. Have you ever considered writing a novel? I am a huge fan of Maeve Binchey and I feel your character development would be excellent along with your lovely descriptions of your surroundings and experiences. In other words, you bring Maeve to mind for me. 🌷 Susanne
Thank you, Susanne! That’s very touching.
I am looking for new books to read and am not familiar with Maeve Binchey. Can you suggest a few of her books I should try?
Welcome back to your blog, Heather! I, too – have always enjoyed your writing style. 🙂
Thanks, Mel! Means a lot to me…xo