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Salsify - and where to find it

Harters Aug 19, 2013 02:52 PM

I don't think I've ever seen this vegetable in the supermarkets or a greengrocers, although I know it's grown here. Does anyone know if there's a regular supply for any of the supermarkets.

Reason for asking is that we spotted tinned salsify at Carrefour in Calais and brought a couple back. Opened the first one tonight and was very disppointed with the bland, almost non-existant, taste - something akin to those tinned white asparagus you always get in Spanish restaurant salads.

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  1. j
    johnlevon RE: Harters Aug 19, 2013 03:25 PM

    I've seen it once in Unicorn, Chorlton - don't know how often it's there, but definitely worth ringing them.

    1. abby d RE: Harters Aug 19, 2013 10:59 PM

      My local sainsbury's sometimes has it in - they seem to have expanded their range of "exotic" veg recently. Not very useful for you though, Harters.

      3 Replies
      1. re: abby d
        lacemaker RE: abby d Aug 20, 2013 01:11 AM

        Can I ask where that is? I really like fresh salsify, and basically only ever see it at the greengrocer at Maltby Street. I would expect our giant local Morrisons, which stocks a good range of exotic veg (krachai! Mizuna) but I've never seen it there.

        I tried the tinned stuff for the first time in France a month ago. It wasn't great, but perhaps better than nothing. Better than canned asparagus, I thought.

        Don't be fooled by black radish, which can look superficially similar.

        1. re: lacemaker
          abby d RE: lacemaker Aug 20, 2013 02:21 AM

          i'm in Lewisham, SE London - it was the Lee Green store that had it and that seems to be broadening what it stocks.

          how do you like it lacemaker? i think i've only ever served it with browned butter.

          1. re: abby d
            lacemaker RE: abby d Aug 20, 2013 02:45 AM

            I mostly just roast it, occasionally I'll boil it first - I've never got my hands on enough of it to justify messing around with it, but I assume you could do anything you would do with a parsnip, which makes me wonder about grating for rosti, mashing and puréeing with cream for a savory ice cream.

            The canned stuff I tossed in a salad with frisee and anchovies. As I say, nothing special.

      2. p
        Palladium RE: Harters Aug 20, 2013 02:15 AM

        I've seen it in Waitrose, but not regularly.

        Less usefully for you, I've also seen it at one of the greengrocers in the Covered Market here in Oxford.

        1. m
          ManInTransit RE: Harters Aug 20, 2013 02:42 AM

          I've seen it at Borough Market and at Maltby Street.

          1. PhilD RE: Harters Aug 20, 2013 04:23 AM

            Do you have a local green grocer who would order it for you? I remember seeing it in Waitrose as well but can't remember he often.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PhilD
              Harters RE: PhilD Aug 20, 2013 04:42 AM

              Unfortunately not, Phil. The village greengrocer went the way of many village greengrocers about five years back.

              Upthread johnlevon mentions the Unicorn, which is only a few minutes drive, and could be a good bet. They are a vegetarian co-operative and often have small quantities of unusual veg (and usually organic).

              1. re: Harters
                AWaiting RE: Harters Aug 20, 2013 05:06 AM

                Harters, I can definitely get it in the local "ethnic" green grocers. I don't know if it's particularly used in eastern cuisine or just that he stocks a lot of things. I take it Morrison's doesn't have it as I know that our local one has an amazing range of fresh produce.

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