I wrote a post last November about cooking scorzonera roots but up until now I haven't done much with its leaves apart from enjoying a few young ones in salads or thrown into a stew. Last month I tidied up the scorzonera plants which were flopping over the path by cutting down most their flower stems (leaving the flowers on just one plant for seed collection later).
Some, but not all, of the plants subsequently threw up fresh new leaves from the base and I harvested a big bunch of them today.
|Fresh scorzonera leaves|
I washed some of the leaves and removed any tougher stem portions and steamed them. They took about ten minutes to get sufficiently soft but retain a bit of bite. I found the youngest, tenderest leaves pleasant to eat steamed. They have a fresh, almost sweet taste and the leaf midrib is succulent (I could have left a bit more of the stems on really). A few of the leaves I had picked were a bit tougher though and had little to commend them - so it's worth being quite choosy! What I forgot to do was pluck some of the new flower buds that had formed on the plants since I trimmed them as they are also said to be good steamed.
The rest of the leaves went into a smoothie! As I'm a smoothie newbie I plucked what looked like a fairly standard green smoothie recipe from the internet and adapted it to use the scorzonera.
|Scorzonera smoothie ingredients|
50g scorzonera leaves
½ a cored and chopped apple
125g green grapes
200g plain yoghurt
Everything went into the blender together and was blended until smooth.
It tasted fine - but of yoghurt and banana not scorzonera! So useful then if you tried steamed scorzonera but thought it was horrible!
There are few recipes to be found for scorzonera leaves but there is an 18th century soup recipe for salsify greens on the Celtnet site which I might try with scorzonera oneday. (If you try it before I do please leave a comment and tell me what it was like).
N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.