Sunday, February 16, 2014

Salcify pie

The winter vegetables still rule at the farmer´s market. Salcify, aka vegetable oyster or Schwarzwurzel in German, is one of them. The roots with pitch black skin, often covered with rests of soil, may seem rather frightening, if you have never cooked it before. Don´t let the dark and gloomy looks of sticks that resemble Harry Potter´s dark magic wands put you off from trying one of the most wonderful vegetables. Preparing salcify demands 20 minutes more work than carrots, but the tender taste and the feeling of experiencing something new is well worth the effort.
For anyone who would like to pimp up their menu, I can recommend salcify whole heartedly.

Salcify pie

115g cold butter, cut into small cubes
1dl rye flour
1dl whole wheat flour
1dl wheat flour
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp cold water

500g salcify, thoroughly washed
salt water for boiling
2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

10g butter
salt, pepper
the remaining egg white
50-75g parmesan, grated
parsley stems, finely chopped
(smoked) sea salt
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
parsley leaves, finely chopped

It is difficult to peel raw salcify. An easier way is to boil the thoroughly washed salcify and then peel the cooked roots like carrots, cutting out the dark eyes with a sharp vegetable knife.

Place all ingredients for the dough into a bowl and mix them together by hand or a mixer.
Keep the dough ball in the fridge until the rest of the preparation is done.

Bring water to boil, add salt and salcify and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain the boiling water.
Peel the salcify and keep the peeled roots in water with lemon juice or vinegar.
Cut the salcify diagonally into 5mm thick slices.
Heat the butter in a pan, cook the salcify slices in butter until they start to take on a light brown colour.

Heat the oven to 180C Celsius.
Fit a baking form with baking paper or butter it to avoid sticking.
Roll the dough to fit the form.
Stab the dough a few times with a knife.
Pre-bake the dough in the oven for 5 minutes.

Take the pre-baked dough out of the oven, spread the remaining egg white on the dough.
Spread half of the grated cheese on the bottom of the pie, then add the salcify and parsley stems.
Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the salcify. Smoked salt gives the pie a slight flavour note, but if not available, just plain sea salt will do fine.
Cover the salcify slices with the rest of the parmesan and scatter pumpkin seeds on top.

Bake for ca. 30 minutes until the cheese has taken on a nice colour.

Serve with green salad or a cup of tea.

If salcify is your thing, you may also like
Salcify cream soup