Scorzonera (Certified Organic)
Scorzonera (Scorzonera hispanica) is a VERY cold hardy perennial root vegetable originating in the Mediterranean. It is also known as oyster plant, or black salsify (although it is botanically unrelated to salsify). All parts of the plant are edible, providing food almost any time of the year.
Young leaves can be eaten fresh and older leaves can be lightly cooked. Flower stalks are eaten like asparagus, and the flower themselves are edible and a nice addition to a salad.
The roots, which store well, are best when harvested in cooler weather, and can be left in the ground most places to harvest as needed through the winter. Roots are best in the second year or after. They have rough black skin and mild flesh, and we enjoy them in a roasted root veggie mix or in a stir fry. They are also edible raw. It is generally peeled first, before or after cooking.
According to Wikipedia, The black salsify is considered nutritious: it contains proteins, fats, asparagine, choline, laevulin, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, and vitamins A, B1, E and C. It also contains the polysaccharide inulin, conferring a mild sweetness that is suitable for diabetics. Inulin, used as a dietary fibre, may have a positive effect on the digestive system, blood circulation, kidneys and inhibit cancerous processes
We obtained this variety from Adaptive Seeds in Oregon, and agree with their assessment that it is a great permaculture perennial crop to fill the winter food gap!