Salsify— also known as the “oyster plant,” for its somewhat oyster-like taste—is a root vegetable of the dandelion family. The plant looks like parsnip or horseradish but is longer and slender. It has dark brown skin and white flesh and tastes somewhat like sunchokes or artichoke hearts (continue reading about this dish here).
Serves 8 to 10 people as a side dish
3 pounds fresh salsify
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 small fresh hot red chiles, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh winter savory leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the salsify and coarsely grate it on the large holes of a box grater. Place it in a medium bowl and stir in the garlic, chiles, winter savory, mint, eggs, and flour. Season generously with salt and pepper, and then form the mixture into 12 medium patties.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until just smoking. Add the patties and cook until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a greased cookie sheet.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Molto Batali (ecco 2011)