After harvesting our crop of Sandwich Island Mammoth Salsify at the end of the gardening season last year, we decided to do a blog on how to cook this interesting root vegetable. It looks similar to a carrot, but the flavor is much different and very complex. Our resident chef, (and the co-owner of Pinetree) Jef, used a method called ‘deglazing’ to roast our harvested salsify.
Deglazing is a cooking technique that utilizes the browned food residue that remains in the bottom of a pan after roasting something, and turns it into a savory sauce. It is comprised of browned sugars, carbohydrates and typically proteins or fats when you are cooking meat. With this salsify, there are obviously no meat fats to brown, so we added butter instead.
Start by washing and peeling your salsify roots.
Soak the peeled salsify roots into a lemon water mixture to prevent the roots from oxidizing, or turning gray/brown.
After soaking the roots in the lemon water for a few minutes, chop the roots into bite sized pieces.
Place them in a skillet or pan on your stove.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter to the pan.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add about 1/2″-3/4″ of water to the pan.
Create a cartouche, which is a “round piece of parchment or grease-proof paper that covers the surface of a stew, soup, stock or sauce to reduce evaporation, to prevent a skin from forming and/or to keep components submerged”. To create the cartouche, follow the link above.
Cook the salsify until the water begins to bubble, and remove the cartouche.
Add a tablespoon of honey when most of the water has cooked out.
Add in a couple sprigs of fresh thyme and another tablespoon of butter, if desired.
When the residue on the bottom of the pan begins to brown, this is when you start the deglazing process. Add a small amount of water to the pan and cook it until the water has evaporated before adding another small amount of water. Repeat this process of adding water, cooking it off and adding more until you have achieved a golden brown sauce that coats the salsify.
Sweeten with more honey, to taste.