The calendar might say spring, but the Greenmarket still says storage (apples and onions), greenhouse (lettuces, tomatoes), and overwintered in the ground, like the salsify roots John D. Madura Farms recently dug from its Pine Island fields. Salsify can be found in grayish-tan and black varieties, and has a distinctive flavor that some liken to oysters, which has earned the vegetable the nickname “oyster plant.” In this recipe from Buvette chef Jody Williams, though, the predominant flavor profile is a sweet and pungent blend of red wine, honey, and Roquefort cheese.
Jody Williams’s Salsify in Red Wine and Honey
3 or 4 salsify roots
1 pint red wine (Williams uses Côtes du Rhône)
1/2 cup honey (thyme honey, if available)
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Roquefort, crumbled
(1) Peel and trim salsify, and (2) cut into 2-inch-long batons. (3) Place into pot, and cover with red wine. Add honey, shallots, garlic, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until tender, up to 30 minutes. Remove salsify and continue to cook liquid until it’s reduced by half. Return salsify to pot, mix with sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Remove to platter, then drizzle with sauce and top with cheese. Serve warm.