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Black Salsify Carbonara

Dairy Dairy
4 Servings Serving Icon
40 Minutes Preferences Icon

Original recipe: Page 336 / The Chef’s Garden by Farmer Lee Jones 

Kosher issue: Prosciutto 

Recipe adapted by: Chef Bryan Gryka


Based on a traditional carbonara, this version uses black salsify as a plant-based substitution for pasta. For full disclosure, I was unable to source black salsify, so I used a mixture of burdock root and parsnip. The method was the same, it just had a slightly different complexity. Burdock has a bit of a bitter bite at the end, so I attempted to mellow that with parsnip. The lesson here is that there are a multitude of root vegetable options, so don’t be afraid to swap something out and experiment. The biggest issue for the kosher adaptation was the use of prosciutto, a major component of traditional carbonara. I had a few options to consider as a replacement so that I could keep the recipe dairy. I chose to test the recipe with three options, each having their own merit to consider. Choose one per your preferences for an updated kosher carbonara! 


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Prepare the Black Salsify Carbonara


Fill a bowl with ice water. Using a vegetable peeler, shave salsify into thin ribbons without turning the root. As you work, drop the shavings into the ice water to prevent oxidation. Reserve the bottom ends of the salsify for stock. 


Heat one tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, soy bacon, or mushrooms. Sauté until just browned and crispy, about three to four minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to a plate to cool.


Add cream to a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to about one cup. Reduce heat to medium-low and add shaved salsify ribbons that have been strained and dried well. Toss gently to coat and continue cooking and tossing until salsify starts to wilt, about 30 seconds. Taste for desired doneness, then add blanched peas and remove from the heat.


Add egg yolks, one at a time, tossing to coat the salsify until it forms a creamy sauce. Add remaining tablespoon butter and toss until melted. Return saucepan to low heat and warm through; do not let it simmer or the yolks will coagulate and the sauce will break.


Warm four serving plates in the microwave for one minute. Divide carbonara among the plates and top generously with cheese and black pepper. Top with soy bacon, carrots or mushrooms. Garnish with pea tendrils and/or pea blooms, if desired. Season with more black pepper, to taste.


Recipe excerpted from Adamah Treasures, a companion to The Chef’s Garden (Avery, April 2021).


Photography by Schneur Menaker