Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cooking Challenge #2 Results: Mystery solved

First, a long convoluted Google search consisting of these terms:

"Long dirty vegetable" - fail. (Though surprisingly PG results, all things considered.)
"Identify root vegetables" - fail. (Though I finally sorted out the difference between turnips and rutabagas. I think.)

Then, I spoke to Google like it was a real person:

"Please tell me what are these unusual dirt covered vegetables".



I guess Google is old-school, and rewards manners.

Anyways, salsify are long roots from the dandelion family that, upon peeling away the dirt, skin, and sap, reveal a white flesh that have been described as "poor man's asparagus", and "oyster-y". Most recipes I brought up suggested making a blended soup out of it, and since that seems to be the general go-to for mystery/blah foods (at least in my kitchen...and on Chopped), we set out on this path. The Kid did all the stripping, and then I chopped them up and threw them in a pot with some onions. 

15 minutes passed.

And then everything changed.

Their texture and simple flavour convinced us to spare them the fate of the immersion blender. Instead, I threw in some carrots for colour and extra crunch, mashed up some beans and pesto (to appease my need to smush something), and smothered it all with a piece of salmon (baked with wild boar sausage).

I'd definitely buy salsify again if I could find it in stores!


  1. Salsify, huh? I've also never heard of it. I was amazed with your tale of google's chivalry, so I had to try it for myself. Seeing is believing, right? Amazing. I also searched it in Pinterest. There are salsify postings from here to kingdom come! And, relatively non-repetitive. I have to say, I was slightly put off by the description of an oyster-y tasting vegetable. :)

  2. Amazing! Although I must admit that I too was a wee bit dissuaded by the oyster-y description. Also...with a name like salsify, one is inclined to believe that it could be a good ingredient in salsa...non?!?

    I love the cooking challenges Kim...and one of these days really must get back to the kitchen and beyond my staples. Creativity is at an all time low around these parts - at least where I'm concerned. Looking forward to having you around for a few weeks to light that fire :)

  3. I'd eat that!!! :)

    Looks scrumptious, and makes me think we've become far too boring in the kitchen in this household.

    Dandelion family you say? i dug up some dandelion root this spring (you do it as early as you can once the ground thaws), and dried it for tea. Although my real goal was to get enough to roast, and then it tastes coffee-like...delish! Anyways, I wonder if you can dry this root? wonder what that would taste like...dandelion root has a bunch of 'good-for-you' properties, I wonder....

  4. Dandelion is a Newfoundland vegetable staple. When you live on a giant piece of granite with about 3 cm of topsoil, you need to be creative in what's considered dinner fare. Particularly where green things are concerned. As a kid, I wouldn't let them touch my plate, but my grandparents used to boil the greens (like Kale or Chard or something) and have them with Sunday dinner. god knows we have enough of them in this part of the world - perhaps they should go on my list of local veg? Best in the spring, when the shoots are young, in case anyone was interested! Love to you all!


  5. Alana and Maria- this fascinates me. I knew dandelions (or parts) were edible, but I had no idea how common it was to eat them. I might have to look into this. I used to use dandelion flowers as make up and headbands. Does that count as a use?

  6. I would have thought salsify was a verb. As in, "you don't need to stir carefully, just salsify that shit!" Also, one of my favorite parts of this post are your nails, Kim. Nice color and very festive!