A white-fleshed root vegetable with grayish skin that resembles a carrot or parsnip in shape. Salsify can be up to 12 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Salsify is known as "poor man's oyster" for its mild oysterlike flavor. There are other varieties including one with a pale gold skin and another with a black skin (scorzonera). Although not common the U.S., it can be found in Spanish, Italian or Greek markets. Serve as a vegetable or use in savory pies, creamed soups, stews or side dishes.
Avoid woody roots and any that are oversized and tough. Select roots that are heavy for their size and free of defects and not too gnarled.
Refrigerate up to 7 days.
Peel and blanch. Then saute, fry or roast.