Sunday, April 24, 2011

The World is My Oyster Plant די װעלט איז מײַן ציגן־בערדל

This is salsify, or oyster plant. The images from the 19th century Russian botanical dictionary are reproduced from Joyce Toomre's translation of Elene Molokhovets' Gift for Young Housewives. While gefilte fish is not mentioned in War and Peace, it is in Molokhovets.
I made Lena Braun's salsify gefilte fish here. This is not a translation of that recipe, but an adaptation based on her idea of using salsify as the main ingredient. The Yiddish word for salsify is "ציגן בערדל" tsign-berdl although Braun calls it "אױסטער־פּלנט" oyster-plent

Vegetarian Gefilte Fish

1 1/2 pounds salsify

3/4 cups lightly toasted cashews
3/4 cup matzo meal
1 large onion
3 eggs
salt, pepper, paprika
2 carrots

Peel and trim the salsify and cook the until quite soft, about 40 minutes. I had about one pound cooked salsify left after trimming. Grind the cooked salsify in a processor with the cashews, matzo meal and half of the onion.
Lightly beat the eggs, and blend in the salsify-mixture.
Bring water to a simmer with the remaining half onion and the carrots in a wide shallow pot. Form the salsify mixture into quenelles and poach for one hour. Serve cold with a slice of carrot and some horseradish.



Blogger Lao Qiao said...

It's very salsifying.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Ven Mum said...


10:52 AM  
Blogger Katre said...


I loved that page from Russian encyclopedia with vegetables. I live in Lithuania, so I don't know what are my chances of finding it. Do you by any chance have it in higher resolution? Would like to make a silk screened print of it. If so please share and I could share what I make with it. Thanks in advance, Kotryna

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Yum-yum.Just reading your article, could make me hungry. I could say that this will be delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

6:03 AM  

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