Photo: cowfish, Flickr
Sometimes even farmers find new vegetables to add to their gardens and to their daily diets.
Carol Ann Sayle, co-founder and co-owner of Boggy Creek Farm, a five-acre urban, organic farm in Austin, Texas, grew beets, potatoes, squash, broccoli and green beans, to name a few. But only recently did she discover the root vegetable scozonera, she wrote at theatlantic.com.
What's a scozonera?
The name comes from the Italian "scorza" meaning bark and "nera" meaning black. It's a dark-skinned root vegetable that's similar to salsify -- called the oyster plant as it allegedly tastes like oysters. (We have never actually tried that one either.)
Even Austin's local chefs couldn't say they'd tried scorzonera or had much experience with it, so she decided to grow the new root veggie just to see what it was like.
"Internet searches of scorzonera revealed that it should be blanched or boiled and then the skin will easily peel off. I chose to peel it in the raw state with a potato peeler and thought it was easy, maybe because it was so fresh," Sayle wrote at theatlantic.com.
"The black skin, however, will stain any cloth permanently, as I found out in our farm stand Saturday, when the pile of scorzonera left a brown patch on a light blue table cloth."
Sayle decided to try the scorzonera with a little bit of spring onion and some shelled snow peas. In a buttered skillet she sautéed little rounds of the scorzonera and the onions with some salt and then tossed in the peas at the last minute.
"I found them delightfully crunchy (not having been boiled first) and buttery," she wrote.
Sayle said she plans to grow scorzonera again next winter.