From our own soil: Salsify, much more than “keukenmeidenverdriet’

Every week brings another product of our own soil under the attention. What is the story of this product and what can you do with it? This week: salsify.

In common parlance, be salsify is also known as ‘keukenmeidenverdriet’. It was not the taste or the appearance that the domestic staff to despair, but especially the way these vegetables cleaned had to be. Fortunately, with a few handy tips best.

Salsify especially popular in abroad

“Salsify in the course of the time of the table disappeared”, says Maaike, the Lion of the National action Plan on Vegetables and Fruit. “It is a pity, because this thin, long roots with a brown shell and cream-coloured pulp are delicious.”

The vegetable is still grown in the Netherlands, at the organic grower Arenosa in Flevoland, but the market is small. “We grow all of fifteen years of salsify, the Alpha, to be exact. That does very well here,” says grower Sam van Geffen.

The demand for the fruit increases, but not per se in the Netherlands. “Of our 7 acres is the largest part abroad, to Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia.”

The grower brings in his own country only to organic supermarkets and health food stores. “Other supermarkets have tried, but there, the vegetables do not. The will is there, but he is there too little sold.”

The cleaning of black salsify is quite a job, if you they cut a sap flow on the corridor.

Sticky sap flow from salsify

Salsify know different nicknames, including keukenmeidenverdriet. Van Geffen: “That name is especially because it is quite a job to clean them. If you have the black salsify and cut, comes directly a sticky sap flow in motion, and that you should not on your clothes. But it is good to do.”

“In terms of structure salsify does look a bit like asparagus, taste not.”
Sam van Geffen, grower

According to the grower is the best way to get the salsify to wash and then with gloves on to peel to avoid stains. “To peel under the faucet does not need, but put the vegetables under water when you’re done, against the fade.” Not just on the kitchen counter and begin thus: “There you’ll regret it.”

“Salsify are also known as ‘armeluisasperge'”, adds De Leeuw. Van Geffen: “in Terms of structure they have, indeed, rather like asparagus. In regards to the taste: they taste to be honest to salsify. That sounds a bit silly, but I can’t really compare it with anything else. It’s a very unique taste and I have never had someone spoken that they are not liked.”

This is the salsify

  • Long brown root
  • Structure of asparagus
  • Contains a lot of iron
  • Costs about 3,29 euros (fresh, 500 grams) or 1.49 euro (pot, 349 grams)

“The stems must purchase firm to touch, dry and no branches”, explains De Leeuw. Then keeps the vegetables take a while to do well. Patricia Schutte from the netherlands Nutrition centre: “Save the salsify in a dark and cool place outside the refrigerator. Than they are about three weeks.”

Enough about the salsify, what can you do with it?

Who the cleaning has passed, you may continue with the preparation. The Lion: “The vegetable is not only delicious, but also contains a lot of iron. Salsify can be used in a cold salad, like asparagus with egg and ham, or in soup. You have about 375 grams of salsify need to get your recommended daily portion of fruit 250-grams.”

Van Geffen: “You can really everything: baking, in the oven, in the soup. I find them self in the morning after a small fifteen minutes to cook; then keep the salsify their bite. Serve with a mustard-cream sauce with it, delicious.”

Preparation times

  • Cooking: 15-20 minutes
  • Steaming: 30-35 minutes
  • Smother: 25-30 minutes
  • Grill: 2-4 minutes
  • Microwave: 4-6 minutes

Recipe for salsify with mushrooms (for two persons)

Put a large bowl of water with a spoon of vinegar ready. Peel the salsify and if necessary, use gloves, since the salsify, a sticky substance issue. Cut the salsify into pieces and store them to cook it in water with vinegar.

Bring water to boil and squeeze the half lemon to the top. Cook the pieces of salsify in lemon water in fifteen to twenty minutes until done.

Make the mushrooms clean and cut into slices. Cut the piece of onion small. Fry the onion and the mushrooms briefly in the hot margarine. Pour the gare salsify and mix in the mushrooms. Tasty with steak and potatoes.


  • 500 grams of salsify
  • 1 piece of onion
  • half a tablespoon of liquid margarine
  • 100 grams of mushrooms
  • half a lemon
  • vinegar

Source: Nutrition centre in collaboration with

Fresh salsify are almost the whole year to buy at organic supermarkets and health food stores and costs about 3,29 euro (500 grams). In other supermarkets the vegetables in a pot to purchase (1.49 euro for 340 grams). The price can vary by point of sale.

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