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Notes from a Farmer Chef

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Notes from a Farmer Chef
Photo by Colleen Yoder

Salsify, Part 3

It’s time to harvest.

We planted one bed of salsify this year, and although some of them grew to be 12-inches long (like the one my son is holding), some of them only grew to be around 3 inches in length. It’s a little frustrating, but I think we’ll still plant this next year, going with two beds instead of just the one.

Tasting the first salsify out of The Clifton Inn garden, I was rewarded with its characteristic creamy, starchy, sweetness, SonwithSalsifyWebsomewhere between an artichoke and a potato. It is also similar to a sunchoke. What really stood out to me was the sweetness, and I knew that scallops, which are also sweet, would pair well.

Below is the dish we’ll be serving to diners in a week or so, once all the salsify is harvested. Although the burnt onion powder might seem a little odd, that charred bitterness adds a great counterpoint to the dish, balancing the sweet about a bit.

Good dishes are all about balance.

It’s been a worthwhile experiment, and I look forward to continuing to add interesting veggies to the garden for next year! Enjoy.

Seared Scallops with Caramelized Salsify, Burnt Onions, Chickweed and Apple Gastrique
from Chef Tucker Yoder of The Clifton Inn, Charlottesville Virginia

Editors’ Note: We have followed Chef Yoder as he grew salsify in his Charlottesville, Virginia, restaurant garden for the first time, and now the harvest is in.

 

Yield: 4 Servings