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Scorzonera - A New Vegetable to Try
Scorzonera - An Interesting Vegetable to Try
From what I can tell, Scorzonera is a root vegetable that is getting some buzz lately. It might seem like a new vegetable, but it really has been around for some time. Very few know about it however, until the news has started to spread some.
The name scorzonera, while odd, is a combination of two Italian words, meaning bark, "scorza" and "nera" meaning black. Some have compared it to salsify, the one that supposedly tastes like oysters. I cannot verify this yet, though I hope to soon! Its is relatively new to even chefs. Until more recent years, not many had ever even tried it! Some didn't even know much about it, if anything at all. That said, scorzonera has been around for a little while at least in places like Belgium, Germany and Austria, and more. They may have been on to something!
Ideas for Preparing Scorzonera
Scorzonera can be boiled or blanched, so the skin can easily come off simply by peeling it. Be aware that the black colored skin of scorzonera is like a dye that doesn't come out of clothing or tablecloths, etc. It stains pretty badly, so this is a fair warning. Sometimes, people can be in the market for dark dyes that stain well!
One new grower had the idea to saute the scorzonera with some other vegetables and butter and salt. You can try onions, snow peas, or whatever vegetables you have on hand that saute well. They are a crunchy vegetable when not overcooked. It sounds kind of good, and may be worth the try!
Some say that if you boil the scorzonera in water with a dash or vinegar in it, that it helps in preparation, and that it tastes a little like an artichoke. In all honesty, it has been some time since I even had an artichoke. At least I had heard of artichokes before.
Some people are not too fond of this vegetable, and say that it hardly has a discernible taste. Before giving up on it, why not try it? Who knows, it could be the next big miracle cure! Not joking either, as the "stuff" of the earth, has always been a great healer of our bodies. The root vegetables are clearly great at soaking up the nutrients in the soil, and that is what we are made of!
Another way to try is the way it It has been served in Austria at times. Someone there remarked that its rather nice cooked as a salad, and they add yogurt and parsley to the recipe. So as you can see, there are some options to start with!
Possible "downsides" to this vegetable:
Its better to peel it after boiling or cooking it, but if you peel it raw, there is an odd ooze that stains things and leaves a kind of rubber like deposit on your skin that needs to be scrubbed off. That sounds a little unpleasant, so I don't think I will be doing that anytime soon. It can stain your skin and nails too evidently. If this is no matter, then it is no hindrance! One can wear think plastic disposable gloves, etc.
Another person said that it can cause a lot of gas, especially if you aren't used to food that can cause flatulence. It contains inulin, which can cause quite a bit of gas in people. That said, its possible to build up a tolerance to those vegetables and beans that cause that, if you have a bit at a time. Another tip for peeling scorzonera, is to not just soak in a water/vinegar solution, but to boil it until soft. You don't want it to get to the mushy point. Some trial and error may be in order.
Ideas for Adding Flavoring to your Scorzonera:
Try experimenting with bay leaf, creams like hollandaise sauce, or a white cream, lemon, butter, prosciutto, orange, and nutmeg for starters. With the options, one is bound to find something that makes it rather palatable.
If you have ever tried this vegetable, I would love to hear from you in the comments below! Please share honestly, what you liked and or didn't like about scorzonera. Sharing about eating more healthy foods is something good for all of us.