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Salsify - to cook

An under used vegetable in Britain, but popular in the Low Countries. If you find some in your green grocer, or grow it in sandy soil at home, this is how it can be to cooked.

Salsify can be used as a vegetable whenever you might normally use carrots, and cooked in this way, taste quite special.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


For 6 generous helpings:

12-14 sticks of Salsify (check they are stiff and firm, if not don't buy them)
The juice of 1 Lemon
2 large 'Banana' Shallots or 4 small Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 large clove of Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped
60 gr/ 2 oz Butter
a tablespoon (15ml) freshly-chopped Parsley


Wash the salsify under running water to remove any dirt. Then, head and tail it, throwing these trimmings away.

Put some cold water into a saucepan easily large enough to hot the salsify - which will be chopped. Add the squeezed lemon juice to this.

Peel the salsify pieces, one at a time under cold water, then cut it into lengths of about 5 cm/2 ins. Putting the cut pieces straight into the acidulated water (this will stop the vegetable going black).

When this has been completed, bring the water to the boil and once boiling point has been reached, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. The salsify should be tender, if not, allow it to sit in the hot water for a further couple of minutes before draining, and setting aside.

Melt the butter, gently in the same saucepan, the add the chopped shallots and 'sweat' them very slowly so they soften without browned, after about 3-5 minutes add the chopped garlic and followed in another minute by the salsify.

Season with a little salt and pepper, stir in the chopped parsley, and serve.

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salsify - unpreparedsalsify - cooked
salsify - unpreparedsalsify - cooked