Introduction and description
There are two types of salsify and for convenience I have placed them under the same heading even though they are different plants botanically.
They look very similar - one having a black root, the other a white root, one cooks them in a similar way and they are both root vegetables. They even taste much the same, with a delicate flavour almost impossible to describe.
Both need to be placed in acidic water such as water with lemon juice once peeled as they discolour very quickly.
Both are quite hardy, though not as easy to grow as some root vegetables as they like a friable rich soil and plenty of moisture.
Both are nutritionally very valuable and have healing caoabilitites as well.
Both are truly delicious as a starter simply with butter, although the culinary possibilities are extensive because they go well with so many things such as cheese, eggs, pasta, in soups, in stews .....
Black salsify - Scorzonera hispanica is known as black salsify or Spanish salsify, black oyster plant, serpent root, viper's herb, viper's grass or simply scorzonera. It is a perennial member of the genus Scorzonera in the sunflower family (Asteraceae)
White salsify - Tragopogon porrifolius grows wild in many places, but is also a favourite of the allotment connoisseur in the UK. It is commonly known as common salsify, oyster plant, vegetable oyster, or simply salsify
more details later