Scorzonera a forgotten vegetable. Hard to get, hard to look at. Sold as a bunch of dried, brown sticks- ugly ones. Scorzonera is also called winter asparagus, because of its resemblance in look (when peeled) and taste to white asparagus. Slightly sweet, with nutty aroma. You will definitely develop some strong feelings to it- love or hate. Nothing between.
When you finally manage to get scorzonera, it won’t take much to hate it. Peeling it is usually enough. Before peeling you need to fill a bowl with water and add some acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, to prevent scorzonera from darkening. Be brave, because removing those thick, dirty skin want be easy.
Ok, you manage to peel it and still you want to eat it? Bu what to do with scorzonera. I was asking the same question. Lucky me, I have those two ingenious book, which always help me with strange veggies. “Roots” gave me a buch of great recipes, but in “Vegetable Literacy” I found the most needed information. First a list of ingredients which go well with black salsefia (another name of scorzonera), second the basic managing of this veggie.
So, I was prepared, in theory. Still, I couldn’t came up with any good recipe. And when I almost gave up and left it in this form, an idea of vegan tartare popped up in my head. I knew I want to cook scorzonera w companion of oyster mushroom i hazelnuts. I just didn’t have a clear vision of this dish. Serving scorzonera in whole piece would enhance its taste and asparagus look, but I felt that this concept wasn’t ready in my head.
So I decide to make scorzonera tartare. It really has nothing in common with a classic meat steak tartare, except the structure of finely chopped ingredients. The most important thing about this recipe is seasoning. Be generous with salt, pepper, soy sauce and lemon juice. Especially with pepper. It’s to good to leave it for few ours in the fridge. And you must add fresh parsley leaves. Add the flax seeds before serving. Serve woith dried cranberries and raisins.
PS. Addition of dreid fruits, hazelnuts and flax seed oil, make this dish prefect for Christmas table!
Scorzonera and oyster mushroom
bunch of scorzonera (about 10-12 roots)
1 bay leaf
few grains of whole all spice
2 grains of juniper
2 tsp vinegar
250g oyster mushrooms
1 small onion
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp flaxseed oil
½ bunch fresh parsley leaves
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup hazelnuts
1/8 cup flax seeds
1. Peel and wash scorzonera. Put it in water with acid. In a pot bring some water to a boil. Add bay leaf, all spice, juniper and vinegar. Add scorzonera and cook for about 25 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool down.
2. Cut oyster mushroom in large pieces. Chop onion finely. Heat the oil in the pan, add mushrooms and onion, pour 1 tbsp soy sauce. Cook for abou 10 minutes. Strain.
3. Chop parsley. Roast hazelnut and flax seeds. Chop roughly hazelnuts.
4. Chop scorzonera and mushrooms really finely. Add parsley and keep chopping. Put chopped ingredients into a bowl. Add flaxseed oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, soy sauce and lemon juice. Add hazelnuts. Put in the refrigerator for few hours, then reseason, if needed.
5. Before serving add flax seeds and mix. Serve with dried cranberries and raisins.
Scorzonera tartare (without dried fruits)- 1 serving:
proteins: 4,7 g; fats: 9,9 g; carbohydrates: 21 g, dietary fiber: 5,8 g;
iron: 3,3 mg; calcium: 38 mg; zinc: 1,5 mg