Here's a lovely recipe I was sent by my veg box people, We Love Local. They send me all kinds of mad things every week, most of which I have some kind of idea what to do with. But not this week! I opened the box to find a pile of long brown sticks I had no idea what to do with. I'd read about salsify (scorzonera) before, but never seen it up close.
Lucky for me, We Love Local had included instructions and a nice sounding recipe to go with it. The recipe matched a ton of things I needed to use up, so half an hour later we were tucking in to a gorgeous bowl of creamy veg. I didn't even tamper with the recipe like I usually do!
We're moving up to London in two weeks - I don't know how I'm going to live without my beloved veg box company. I'm sure there will be plenty to choose from in London, but I will be surprised if they come close to offering the quality and variety that We Love Local do.
Black Salsify, Spinach & Gruyere Gratin
30g of butter plus extra for greasing the gratin dish
450g black salsify, peeled or scrubbed
250g baby spinach
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
300ml single cream
Gruyere or edam cheese (no exact amounts here as it depends on how much cheesiness you like!)
White breadcrumbs, a couple of handfuls
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and butter the inside of your gratin dish.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.
Peel the salsify and cut into the desired lengths, then drop straight into the boiling water. Cook until just tender (around 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salsify).
Meanwhile, mix the stock and cream together and season.
Place a layer of salsify in the bottom of the dish and then add a layer of spinach. Grate over some gruyere cheese then finish with the remaining salsify and spinach.
Pour over the cream-stock mixture then mix the breadcrumbs with a generous amount of grated gruyere and sprinkle over the top of the gratin.
Bake until golden and bubbling.