Here's a recipe to help you beat those winter vegetable blahs. Salsify has the texture of a potato with a haunting flavor reminiscent of artichokes or white asparagus. Some say that this thin root tastes like an oyster, thus it's also called the oyster plant. Be aware that the white flesh can discolor easily, so after peeling be sure to place it in acidulated water.
In New York, we've seen salsify at the Paffenroth Farms stand of the Union Square Greenmarket, Whole Foods, and Dean & Deluca. In a pinch, substitute Jerusalem artichokes.
2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 pounds black or white salsify 1 small clove garlic 2 1/2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup milk 1/2 tablespoon horseradish, or to taste salt, to taste
Fill a large bowl with cold water, and add the lemon juice to create an acidulated bath. Peel the salsify, and cut it into 2 inch lengths, slipping the pieces into the bath as you work.
Add the drained salsify and the clove of garlic to a saucepan of cool water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain, and puree with remaining ingredients. Garnish with parsley, or other mild herbs. If you like, this recipe can easily become a soup by increasing the amount of milk until the desired texture is reached.