Black Salsify, Thyme, and Caramelised Onion Bruschetta

11 Jan

“Self-love isn’t saying, “I love how I look in the morning”. Self-love is saying, “This is how I look in the morning”, because basing our kicks on how we look in the morning can reduce us to our bodies. If we can love our appearance in the mirror, that’s fine, there are no problems with that. But Self-love is unconditional. It’s not based on liking what we see.” – radtransfem

Greta has started getting the occasional veg box delivered, which is great because every so often we get a vegetable through the post that we have never heard of before. Cue the arrival of this weird root vegetable called black salsify:


A quick google search for salsify recipes came up with surprisingly little, so we decided to ad lib a bit. It tastes a bit like celeriac or a less-sweet parsnip.

Ingredients for six starters: 2 black salsify roots, lemon juice, 4 cloves garlic, half a handful of fresh thyme, 1 onion (sliced into half circles), vegan marg, 1 tbsp sugar, stock powder, loaf of crusty bread from the bakery.

Salsify is a bit of weird vegetable to cook. It discolours really easily so you have to keep it in acidified water (add lemon juice or vinegar) once it has been cut into. It can be a bit weird to peel as well – much easier once it is cooked. We washed the salsify and chopped it into chunks about an inch and a half long, adding them straight into acidified water on the hob. We then boiled the salsify until tender (the time varies massively depending on how thick the root is), and plunged them into cold water once cooked. We then peeled the salsify with a knife and chopped it into small pieces.


Meanwhile, we put the butter and onions in a pan to sweat down with the sugar, some salt and pepper and a bit of stock powder. As the onions started to carmelise, we added the thyme and salsify until the salsify looked pleasantly browned.

We then sliced the bread and dotted with a bit of vegan marg to toast under the grill. Then turned them over, piled the salsify mixture on top and grilled for another minute or so. Enjoy!


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2 Responses to “Black Salsify, Thyme, and Caramelised Onion Bruschetta”

  1. veganactivist February 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I believe I’ve seen recipes before that use salsify in a soup, I think as a mock clam chowder. You don’t seem to indicate that it has any sort of fishy taste though?

  2. Cybergabi (@Cybergabi) March 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Interesting way to prepare salsify. In Germany, we know this root under its nickname ‘winter asparagus’. If you peel it (and indeed, submerged in lemon or vinegar water, because otherwise you need hours to decontaminate everything its sap gets in touch with), then boil it like asparagus (or roast it in the oven), and serve it with a creamy, but rather taste-neutral Hollandaise-like sauce with it (e.g. a cashew cream mixed with veganaise), it can easily be mistaken for asparagus. Although I do have to add that in Europe we mostly eat white asparagus (which grows in mounds, underground), not the green above-ground variety you mostly get in the US.

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