While preparing my supper quite late last night my flatmate asked me what I was making. He looked puzzled when I said I was cooking with salsify and showed him the long dark sticks. He still didn’t know what it was, and I realised then that it is a rather unusual vegetable.
But it shouldn’t be. It grows in Britain and similar climates (like Sweden and Southern Europe), it is nutrious and as it is a root vegetable it makes this time of year a whole lot more interesting (as it is mainly root vegetables and cabbage that grows locally in winter).
In Sweden it is knows as poor man’s asparagus as it is similar in taste, and I read that it is also said to taste similar to oysters.
In this recipe I paired it with feta and lemon juice and added the subtle garlic flavour of the wild garlic in the mayonnaise. The whole dish feels like a promise of spring. Utterly delicious! I had it as a light supper but it also works as a lunch, brunch or even breakfast.
PS. If you haven’t got flavoured oil at hand, you can make the mayonnaise from fresh wild garlic instead.
Black salsify and feta fritters with wild garlic mayo, serves 1
3 black salsify, peeled and coarsely grated
3 tbsp feta
1 egg white
4-5 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp lemon juice
salt, black pepper
butter and oil for frying
Fry the grated salsify in butter for a few minutes to soften. Then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled feta, egg white (save the yolk for the mayo), flour, lemon juice and seasoning. Mix well. Heat up butter and oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Spoon the mixture into the pan shaping four fritters. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
Wild garlic mayonnaise, serves 1
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
ca 100 ml wild garlic flavoured oil
1 lemon wedge, the juice
salt, white pepper
Beat the egg yolk and add the oil drop by drop while whisking until you have a thick mayonnaise. Add lemon juice and seasoning.