Roasted Black Salsify with Pesto Sauce

by Lana Verbytska
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Roasted Black Salsify is a fantastic choice for a quick and tasty side dish during the week. If you’re seeking a fun alternative to traditional options like potato fries or roasted carrots, salsify is the way to go!

A plate with roasted black salsify served with pesto

Why You’ll Love This Dish

Roasted Black Salsify is a great one-pan dish with minimal cleanup. This dish is perfect for picky eaters because it is so versatile flavor-wise. All of these ingredients can typically be found in the pantry so it is also a great budget-friendly option as well. The vegetable broth is a money-saving hack to punch the salsify with a lot of extra flavors. It gives the feeling of being slow-roasted over a long period of time with a multitude of herbs and veggies. The broth also adds a certain richness to the dish which really comes through in the final product when combined with fresh parsley and pesto.

Roasted black salsify on a serving plate


  • Fresh Black Salsify Roots: Long and slender root vegetables with a unique flavor reminiscent of artichoke hearts and oysters.
  • Lemon Juice and Water: To create an acidic solution for preventing browning and enhancing the final flavor of the salsify.
  • Olive Oil: Is used to coat the salsify spears before baking. It helps to enhance the flavor, add richness, and contribute to the crispy texture of the roasted salsify.
  • Black Pepper and Salt: To season the dish. Adjust the amount of black pepper and salt to your taste preferences.
  • Vegetable Broth: Adds depth and richness to the dish, enhancing the overall taste when combined with parsley and pesto.
  • Pesto: Adds a burst of vibrant flavors to the roasted black salsify. It complements the earthy salsify beautifully. I highly recommend trying this dish with this Sunflower Seed Pesto recipe, it will be perfect. Or use the classic pesto.
  • Parsley: Freshly chopped parsley adds a fresh and vibrant element to the dish and enhances the visual appeal.

Black salsify roots

Tips for Success

By following these simple steps, you’ll make perfectly roasted black salsify spears that are bursting with flavor and have a delightful crispiness:

  • Soak in Acidic Water: The key to achieving a great flavor and color on the salsify is to soak it in a slightly acidic solution of water and lemon juice. This prevents browning and enhances the final flavor when combined with other components.
  • Cut Evenly: Cutting the salsify spears into uniform pieces is crucial for even cooking. This ensures that all the pieces cook evenly over time, resulting in a consistent texture.
  • Season Prior to Baking: Seasoning the salsify spears before baking is essential for flavor development. The flavors will meld together as they cook, creating a delicious taste profile. Additionally, the salt will help create a crispy crust.
  • Customize with Toppings: Get creative with toppings and seasonings to personalize the dish. Experiment with different herbs, spices, cheeses, or even a drizzle of flavored oils to add extra layers of flavor to your roasted black salsify.

Peeled black salsify in a baking pan

Flavor Combination Ideas for this Roasted Black Salsify

The preparation for roasted black salsify is similar to a standard oven fry, allowing you to achieve a crispy and delicious result. However, what sets salsify apart is its versatility as a blank canvas for various flavors and toppings.

  • Garlic and Parmesan: Toss the salsify spears with minced garlic and grated Parmesan cheese before roasting. The combination of garlic and Parmesan will elevate the flavors and add a delicious richness.
  • Lemon Zest and Herbs: Grate fresh lemon zest over the seasoned salsify before roasting for a bright and zesty flavor. Sprinkle a mix of your favorite herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano, to infuse the dish with fragrant notes.
  • Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Pepper: Give your roasted salsify spice notes by dusting them with smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Honey and Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle the salsify spears with a mixture of honey and balsamic glaze before roasting. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors will create a delicious caramelization.
  • Sesame and Ginger: Create an Asian-inspired twist by coating the salsify spears in a mixture of sesame oil, grated ginger, and soy sauce. Roast until golden brown for a fusion of flavors.
  • Mediterranean Twist: Toss the salsify spears with a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and dried oregano. Roast until tender and garnish with chopped parsley and crumbled feta for a Mediterranean-inspired delight.

Roasted black salsify on a serving plate served with pesto and parsley

What is Black Salsify Good For?

Black salsify is a root vegetable that offers several nutritional benefits and culinary uses. Here are some reasons why black salsify is considered good for you:

  • Nutrient-Rich: Black salsify is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, iron, and calcium. It also contains antioxidants that help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Digestive Health: The high fiber content in black salsify promotes healthy digestion. It can help prevent constipation and support overall digestive health.
  • Immune System Support: The presence of vitamin C helps strengthen the body’s natural defenses and supports the immune system.
  • Bone Health: Black salsify contains calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. It also provides a small amount of vitamin D, which is important for calcium absorption.
  • Weight Management: With its high fiber content and relatively low-calorie content, black salsify can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet for weight management.
  • Culinary Versatility: Black salsify is valued for its unique flavor, which is often described as nutty and slightly sweet. It can be prepared in various ways, such as roasting, boiling, sautéing, or adding to soups and stews. It serves as a nutritious and delicious alternative to other root vegetables like potatoes.

Roasted black salsify on a serving plate with pesto, lemon and parsley

More Healthy Side Dish Recipes to Try

Roasted black salsify on a serving plate

Roasted Black Salsify with Pesto Sauce

Rating: 5.0/5
( 6 voted )
Prep Time: Cooking Time: Total Time:
Cuisine: Yield: 3 servings
Calories for Serving: 200 kcal 20 grams fat
Roasted Black Salsify is a fantastic choice for a quick and tasty side dish during the week. If you're seeking a fun alternative to traditional options like potato fries or roasted carrots, salsify is the way to go!


  • 1 pound (450 g) fresh black salsify
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) lemon juice
  • 4 cups (960 ml) cold water
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) pesto
  • 1 tbsp (4 g) parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Rinse the salsify roots under cold running water, ensuring that all the sand and dirt are washed off.
  3. Prepare a large bowl or baking dish with cold water and the lemon juice.
  4. Put on plastic gloves and peel the salsify. Place each peeled root into the water with lemon to prevent browning caused by oxidation.
  5. Once all the roots are peeled, chop them into approximately 3-inch long pieces and place them into a baking pan.
  6. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to the salsify, and toss to coat pieces evenly.
  7. Pour vegetable broth into the pan.
  8. Bake the dish for about 40-45 minutes. Serve with pesto and chopped parsley.


Calories: 258kcal Fat: 14.3g Saturated Fat: 2.3g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 620mg Carbohydrate: 29.3g Fiber: 5.3g Sugar: 0.9g Protein: 6.9g Calcium: 139mg Iron: 1mg Potassium: 629mg
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What does black salsify taste like?
Salsify has a unique flavor profile that can be described as a combination of artichoke hearts and oysters. It offers a delicate and slightly earthy taste with a hint of sweetness.
Can I freeze roasted black salsify?
Roasted black salsify is best enjoyed fresh, as freezing may affect its texture and flavor. It is recommended to consume it immediately after baking for the best culinary experience.
Can I use vegetable broth substitutes?
If you don't have vegetable broth on hand, you can use chicken or mushroom broth as alternatives. Alternatively, you can replace the broth with water, although it may result in slightly milder flavors.
Can I serve roasted black salsify with dipping sauces?
Absolutely! Roasted black salsify pairs well with various dipping sauces such as aioli, chipotle mayo, or even a simple garlic yogurt sauce. Get creative and explore different flavors to complement salsify's taste.

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