While spending a little more time out here in L.A. it is almost amazing that I can go to the farmers market once a week or every other week and tend to find something I haven't seen before. In this case I've definitely seen salsify before but not with their tops, but I also found something i've never heard or seen before and that was Minutina, originally from Italy the farmer said, is a specialty green with an earthy flavor. If you wanted a title for this dish I would call it "Flavors of the Forest" This dish has a lot of earthy notes to it, the salsify looks like a piece of wood or log and I smoked it as well before I roasted it. I have chanterelles, truffles, and the tops of the salsify that really has those woodsy flavors. When you have multiple dishes in the course of one dinner, you can't have every dish be salty, spicy, sweet, and sour, crunchy, and soft. You can have a few dishes that have just one or two of those elements and let a few of the other dishes you are serving concentrate on the other flavors. Enough of the philosophy on my take on cooking. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy
12 small salsify
2 bunches of salsify tops blanched
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup creme friache
1 tsp of black truffle oil
1/2 cup of fresh lima beans blanched
1 red radish sliced thin
1 black truffle
6 oz of chanterelles
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
3 cups of duck fat or grape seed oil
1 sprig of lemon verbena
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
For the salsify,
Take half of the salsify and peel and place in a small pot with the duck fat, lemon verbena, shallot, garlic , and thyme. Place on the stove over medium heat until it comes to a very light simmer. Turn down to low and cover and cook for roughly 25 minutes or until the salsify is just done. Turn off and allow to cool in the oil
The other half of the salsify place in a stove top smoker with a cherry, and hickory wood chips. Smoke for 3 minutes on high heat and then turn off the heat. Allow to sit in the stove top smoker for 30 minutes. Then preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the salsify out of the smoker, drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside and keep warm.
For the Salsify Top Truffle Sauce,
Place the blanched tops in a vita mix with lemon and creme friache and puree until smooth. Strain through a strainer. Season with salt and truffle oil. Set aside.
For the Chanterelles,
In a small sauté pan oil, butter, and chanterelles and cook for 7 minutes until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Take a plate and spoon some of the tops sauce onto the plate. Toss lima beans with a little oil and salt and place on top of the sauce. Take the confit salsify and cut them on an angle and place on top of the sauce. Add the chanterelles, truffles, and shaved radish. Take the whole roasted salsify and place next to the sauce. Finish with Mintuna, sea salt, flowers, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy