French Buttery Black Salsify Root Recipe (Oyster Plant)

French style black salsify root in butter (recette salsifis au beurre). Simply pan roasted in unsalted butter, parsley and salt this black oyster plant is scrumptious Delicious and healthy side meal, native to the Mediterranean countries (like France, Italy and Greece), this quick black salsify root recipe is a keeper.

Simple Salsify Root (le salsifis) Recipe with butter Image

Have you ever wondered what salsify root is (Le salsifis in French)? Well, if you have you are not alone. I first stumbled upon this root vegetable when I was casually trying out a food delivery service in my area. Living so close to Greece I should have heard of salsify before, but I guess we learn something new every day. I purchased a bunch of salsify out of pure curiosity. Where I live salsify is usually black. However, salsify root can be both yellow-ish (aka white) or black. Regardless, before cooking you need to peel off the skin so the color does not matter much (with regards to cooking and taste that is).

Rumor has it, salsify is a root vegetable rich in potassium and calcium. It usually grows in fall and winter time. The French sometimes call it ‘winter asparagus of the poor’ because it has similar taste (especially to white asparagus), but it’s price is significantly lower. Salsify has been a popular root vegetable (also called oyster plant) across the Mediterranean (particularly in Greece, Spain, France and Italy) for ages. Many grow it locally from seeds.

Salsify root has a mild, somewhat neutral taste. Some call it slightly root-y, but I cannot see why, especially when braised in butter. It can be added to a number of meals – sides, salads, stews and soups are just a few. It can be paired perfectly with my basic sausage patties recipe (with ground turkey) or pan braised beef recipe.

Pan Roasted Salsify – Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Salsify root – black or yellow salsify root, skin peeled off, blanched in hot water
  • Unsalted butter – simple ingredient, yet it elevates the state
  • Parsley – fresh or frozen is best. Subst. with celery of cilantro (fresh is best)
  • Fresh garlic – totally optional, but very tasty. Subst. with powder if needed
  • Pinch of pink salt – always to taste
  • Water for blanching salsify root in – to cover it well on all sides

How to cook Salsify Root (Oyster Plant)- Instructions & Tips

Wash salsify root well under cold water. Being a root vegetable it comes covered in soil sometimes (depending on where you buy it from). Peel the skin off and cut the edges. Cut lengthwise in ‘French fries’ shape. In a large pot, bring water to a boil, then add salsify and blanch for a few minutes. The roots should be softer, almost cooked when you strain them.

Tip: When skin is peeled, the white underneath gets darker (like yellow) rather quickly when it oxidases. Soak it in cold water to slow down the process. Taste will not be affected if you leave it be, though.

Cook in a non-stick frying pan with melted butter, salt and chopped parsley. Use a lid if you want to preserve more of the butter-y sauce. Stir frequently. Remove from stove when salsify sticks start to get golden. Serve immediately as a side or appetizer.

Black Salsify Root Vegetable Recipe Image


Buttery Black Salsify Root (pan roasted)

Delicious French style black salsify root, coated in butter and roasted in the pan with pink salt and minced parsley. Easy recipe for preparing salsify root, the Mediterranean way.
CourseSide Dish
Keywordsalsify root
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes


  • 500 g salsify root, blanched, cut in long sticks
  • 30-50 g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • pinch of pink salt
  • water for blanching salsify root in


  • Wash salsify root under cold water, then peel the skin off. Cut in long sticks lengthwise (shape should be just like French fries). Then, place in boiling water and blanch until soft-ish (should be almost cooked – check with fork). Around 5-10 minutes on my stove.
  • Next, strain salsify sticks and set aside. Preheat non-stick frying pan, lower heat and add butter until melted. Then toss the blanched salsify, minced parsley and salt and sauté for a few minutes.
  • When salsify starts to get golden that's the time to remove from stove. Use frying pan with lid if you want to keep it juicer. Serve immediately while warm if possible.

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