Peppery Salsify Gratin


Since first discovering the muddy sticks, that are, salsify, I get very excited for its annual season, which appears to have overrun the winter season this year (I am not complaining).


I ordered 2 lots of 400g to come alongside my organic veg box last week. I made a lighter version of my salsify fritters with one bunch but wanted to do something different with the rest.

Salsify Fritters

Salsify Fritters

I didn’t want to simply steam it, roast it or braise it – as delicious as they are – I wanted to do something special with my once a year salsify.

I decided to use up a few lurking potatoes and an onion to make a rich, buttery (despite no butter), peppery gratin. It is comforting, flavour packed and melts in the mouth. The trick is low and slow cooking here.

Ingredients: Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 500g potatoes
  • 400g black salsify
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml soya cream
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 15g vegan spread


  • If your salsify is still muddy, soak it in warm water in the sink to soften the mud then scrub well. Top and tail and cut into lengths about 10cm/4 inches. Place in a pan of boiling water and boil for about 10-15 minutes until tender enough to be pierced with a knife.
  • Drain and cool under cold water. Squeeze and rub the skins of, use the back of a knife to scrape any tough bits. Halve down the length and set aside.Fotor0510210741
  • Slice your potatoes wafer thin, a mandolin would be useful here. Do the same with the onion.
  • Preheat the oven to 180’c/350’f. Melt the spread in a medium pan and add the crushed garlic over a low heat and saute for about a minute until fragrant. Add the cream, milk, salt, pepper and rub in the thyme through your fingers. Stir and leave on a low heat whilst you layer the gratin.
  • Layer starting with a third of the potatoes, third of the onion and then a third of the salsify with a grinding of black pepper between each layer and repeat until all used up. Give the cream a final stir and pour over the vegetables.


  • Place on a baking tray in the oven and bake for anywhere between 1 – 1 1/2 hours depending on the thickness of your vegetables. The gratin should be dark amber and should give easily when pierced with a knife.
  • Serve as an accompaniment to a seitan roast and veggies or just scoop into warm bowls.
Nutritional Benefits
Low in saturated fat
No cholesterol
High in dietary fiber
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C
This entry was posted in Egg-free, Gluten-free, Mains, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Peppery Salsify Gratin

  1. What is salsify? It’s totally unknown to me.

    • Poppy says:

      Hi. Salsify is a winter root vegetable, also known as the oyster plant as apparently its taste is reminiscent of oysters (having never eaten oysters I cannot vouch for this!). They have a soft white flesh when cooked which reminds me of parsnips. They really are delicious and well worth trying if you can find them! If you peel them raw, they discolour quickly so add to acidulated water. Hope that helps! Poppy 🙂

  2. Poppy, I have never heard of salsify either! I have had oysters and I can not say I would want to taste that flavor as a vegetable. However, parsnips….I love! Interesting post!

  3. rsjo says:

    ooh have you ever tried this with pumpkin or perhaps sweet potatoes? I am not eating very much starch at the moment, but this looks delish!!

  4. coconutcraze says:

    Never heard of salsify…this is new information for me! Looks like some root vegetables I have come across. I am really interested in trying it if I find it.

    • Poppy says:

      Hi Sridevi, I’m glad you are interested in Salsify and I hope you manage to find some! It is one of my most favourite vegetables! I wish I knew where you might find it in Toronto but I am in the UK so haven’t a clue! Perhaps google? Good luck. Poppy 🙂

  5. I’m nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award because, quite frankly, your blog and recipes are stunning 🙂 Donuts alone did it for me!

  6. Salsify is a brilliant but underrated vegetable. Maybe cos it isn’t very pretty. This recipe is a fab way to treat and eat it. Lovely

    • Poppy says:

      Thanks Kellie, yes I agree it’s highly underrated. Such a shame as it’s delicious and a great source of potassium and fibre. 🙂

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