Why Eat It

Why Eat It

"Oyster plant" is an old-fashioned name for this parsniplike root vegetable, as some people find the flavor reminiscent of oysters. The long, one inch-thick roots have tan skin and white flesh. (Scorzonera, a similar root, has brownish-black skin and cream-colored flesh.) Although it is not very common, you'll find this vegetable in some markets in the fall and winter. Look for firm, plump unblemished roots and store them in the refrigerator. Cook and serve salsify as you would parsnips. After scraping or peeling the roots, place them in acidulated water to prevent them from darkening.

Like other root vegetables, the starch in salsify turns to sugar during cold storage so it is also sometimes left in the ground over the winter to sweeten (like parsnips). A 3 1/2-ounce serving (about 2/3 cup) has about 82 calories and provides modest amounts of vitamin C, some B vitamins, and potassium.

Date Published: 04/21/2005
Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version Return to Top