OK, so it’s pretty weird. If you’ve never grown or eaten Scorzonera, I’ll forgive you for thinking I put five large dog turds in this box. They don’t look very appetising.
And, in truth, they’re not. The taste is… forgettable.
But here’s the thing: they’re astonishingly easy to grow (sow and forget), they’re ready to eat in winter when there’s not much else, and you don’t have to harvest and store them: they sit happily in the ground until you’re ready for ‘em. Moreover, if you leave them to seed they have the most beautiful flowers.
They’re a bit of a bugger to cook. They have a disgusting, sticky, resinous layer under their skin which is impossible to get off your hands if you peel them raw. Like beetroot, they should be cooked in their skins, then peeled.
Having said all that, they’re nice in a strong cheese sauce.
But then, what isn’t?