Black Salsify

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Scorzonera, known as black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica), is often confused with salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius). All these root vegetables, very close from a botanical point of view, indeed belong to the same family of Asteraceae. They are among ancient and forgotten vegetables that deservie to be rediscovered for their fine flavour and high nutritional value. Scorzonera is a perennial plant cultivated as an annual, from which the white-fleshed roots are harvested from late autumn to early spring. Brown, grey or black in colour, with a cylindrical section, they have an elongated and slender shape with small rootlets present only at one end (salsify is much hairier). There are some improved varieties, more productive and with unique flavour, such as the Giant Black from Russia, for example. Scorzoneras can be consumed raw, grated in salads or cooked, mashed, sautéed with vegetables, stews, soups, or baked au gratin. These plants are cultivated in the same way as salsify, in fertile but light and sandy soil, very soft, and enriched with a supply of well-decomposed compost (3 kg/m²) in late autumn or early spring.

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