Sesame Salsify. It's time for Weekend Herb Blogging again, and Pookah of What's Cooking in Carolina is hosting. This week I chose Black Salsify to create my dish around. The basis for flavor lies in getting fresh, seasonal, local ingredients, and I picked mine up at the San Rafael Farmers Market from Orchard Farms.
When it came to Saturday evening, I found myself having Daniel, Kit and my father as dinner guests, so I cooked a full meal of Sage Rubbed Organic Chicken, stuffed with celery and roasted with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Sweet Red Onions, Sesame Salsify, Baby Zucchini steamed in Organic Chicken Broth, and Castella with Organic Crisp-Sweet Asian Pears.
The other necessary factor after having great ingredients, is technique. Daniel mentioned that there is nothing like having a meal cooked by someone for you, infusing it with love which seems to come out in taste that you can't buy. Part of my technique is infusing food with love energy and gratitude as I prepare it. A scientist may say that this attitude causes a more careful handling and devotion to technique which shows in the flavor, a metaphysicist may say that a literal love frequency energy infuses the food and causes a physical change. Whichever you choose to believe, I think the attitude and emotional state that you approach your cooking with reflects in the final product.
First, I picked out a nice bunch of black salsify from the left of this basket. On the right is another variety, called white salsify. Salsify is also called the "Oyster Plant" as some think it has a flavor similar to oysters. I think it tastes like a cross between an artichoke heart and asparagus. Salsify, like the sunchokes I featured last week, has inulin which is thought to aid in blood sugar control. It's also been clinically proven to increase calcium absorbtion.
My WHB recipe can be either a side dish, or a vegetarian main dish.
8 oz shredded carrots
Juice of one lemon
8 pieces salsify, peeled
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 oz. Pineapple-Teriyaki marinated firm tofu
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1. Put shredded carrots and juice of one lemon in a bowl of cool water to soak.
2. Slice salsify in 2" lengths, quarter into matchsticks and add to bowl.
3. Slice tofu into horizontal thin slices.
4. Put sesame oil into frying pan and turn heat to medium high.
5. Drain carrots and salsify and put into pan.
6. Stir fry, turning frequently until nearly done.
7. Add tofu, and continue stirring and frying until tofu is warm and dish is cooked to the vegetable doneness you prefer.
8. Remove from heat, put in serving dish and sprinkle black sesame seeds over the top.