Time for another fun installment of Stuff Dutchies eat (in the Autumn).
Usually a trip to the market is a true mission to find the freshest and most in- season goodies possible. But last week the choice was really not up to me…
She: Are you sure that’s all you want? 2 carrots, 1 potato, 1 celeriac?
Me: Yep that should do it just fine.
She: Well, have you tried our plums? *walks over and grabs two different types of plums. Stands there until I eat both of them…with her watching*
Me: Wow. Those are incredible. Alright I’ll have a handful.
She: Well, if you are buying root veggies, maybe you should try this one. *hands me the dirtiest, skinniest, gnarliest thing I’ve ever seen*
Me: What is it? *feeling annoyed at my own ignorance*
She: It’s something between a mushroom and a potato. You can peel it, roast it, boil it, or eat it raw.
After some investigation, with little success, I asked my pal the VegaDutchie. She explained to me that it is actually an almost forgotten vegetable called schorseneren. It was widely consumed before the second world war, and it was imported from the Mediterranean to the low countries of Europe. It is possible that it has lost some popularity due to the laborious effort you must exert to peel it. Not that the peel is tough, but it does secrete an oozing white latex as soon as the tough brown flesh is scored. To prevent this from happening, you can peel the root underwater with a bit of vinegar.
This root vegetable belongs to the same family as sunflowers and daisies, the Asteraceae. Other names include: scorzonera, Spanish salsify, black oyster plant, viper’s grass, escorcionera, escurzo, yerba viperina, salsifí negro, salsifí hispánico, churrimana, tetas de vaca.
Although it is in the same family and looks very similar to Burdock root these two plants are distinct.
Both vegetables, burdock and schorseneren, should be used with some amount of caution. They have been used by many different societies, including traditional Chinese medicine, for their potent cleansing properties, acting as skin purifier, diuretic, and diaphoretic. In other words…a little bit can go a long way.
Schorseneren and winter root soup
1 can black beans
1 head of greens (kale works well)
1 veggie broth
2 TBSP chili spices
2 TBSP olive oil
First saute the onion and garlic with olive oil in a large stock pot. Next, add all the root veggies and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and add the spices. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Serve with a nice green salad. Yummm.