What? The world is your oyster plant. For such a mild-mannered root vegetable, salsify has attracted an unusually high number of ardent defenders and passionate detractors. Unique, delicate, superb, mild, mysterious, its champions insist. Bland, mushy, faded, forgettable, its critics rejoin. Salsify is also known as oyster plant, because when cooked, it's alleged to taste like the mollusk. More disagreement on this point. There are, however, a few facts everyone concedes: Salsify is a carrot-shaped winter vegetable. Thomas Jefferson grew it, and a vegetable garden remains the best place to find it in contemporary America. It's much more common in Europe, where people use it in stews, soups, and fritters or simply sautÈed in butter. White salsify and black salsify (technically called Scorzonera) are used interchangeably. Rather a ruckus for a root.
When? January 11, Vincent Hodgins, Istana
January 20, Maria del Pilar Sanchez, The Restaurant at Meadowood
January 30, Martin Rios, Old House Restaurant