- Salsify; they always come with a lot of sandy dirt on them. You need to scrub them with a brush under water to remove that sandy dirt. Use a thin peeler to slice off paperthin strips from a salsify to be used as deepfried chips and preserve asap in water with lemon juice or vinegar. The rest of the salsify is peeled and cut in nice chunks and also goes in acidic water asap; salsify oxidizes very quickly.
Chips and chunks are boiled separately in what is called a "blanc"; bring a pot of water to a boil with added lemon juice or white vinegar. Now take half a cup of cold water and add 1 tbsp of plain flour. Mix using a whisk. Add this mixture to the boiling water. The chips are blanched in this "blanc" for 20 seconds then removed and cooled asap under running cold water then dried in a clean kitchen towel. Just before dressing the plates, these chips will be deepfried at not too high (160-170°C) until crisp.
The chunks are now boiled in the "blanc" for around 15 minutes but do check with the tip of a knife for doneness from 10 minutes cooking time on. Then make a classic béchamel using flour and butter for the roux to which is added cold milk, s&p, nutmeg. Add salsify and squeeze of lemon juice for balance.
- Parsnip purée; peel them, cut in small chunks, boil in salted water until completely soft. Drain water, add cream and mix as fine as possible. Add s&p and nothing else; so delicious.
- Savoy cabbage; remove outer leaves until you get to the lighter colored ones. Cut cabbage in quarters, remove the tough core. Now slice in thin strips. Boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Cool asap. Reheat in butter, s&p, nutmeg.
- Apple; use sweet apples like Jonagold not green ones. Peel but do keep the peels, cut apples horizontally in 2, cut a thin slice from the bottoms so they will keep standing up, core with a melon spoon (parisiènne spoon). Make a sugar syrup from water with around 30% sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and a small stick of cinnamon and add the apple peels. Let simmer for a while; you now have a stunning apple tea, do taste it!
Poach the apples in there (test with the tip of a knife for doneness). Add tsp of warmed elderberry jam or other berries.
- Sauce; reduce by half equal amounts of veal stock and tea in wich you cooked the apples. Add small bits of pain d'épices at a time and whisk untill slightly thickened.
- Roe; panfry in butter/olive oil, add s&p, put in an oven at a low 80°C. Deglaze the pan with the sauce. Add small chunk of butter, sieve.
Tip; when you have to deal with a lot of garnitures like here as a home cook like me, use small aluminium ("take-away" style)containers with lid that are for sale in any supermarket. Use them to store seperately the finished salsify in béchamel, cabbage, apples, parsnip purée. Some good 45-60 minutes before serving, put all of the aluminium containers in the oven at a low 80°C. They will come out perfectly and nicely warmed through and your kitchen worktop will be much less cluttered. Also, do put the plates you're going to use as well in the oven to get warm!!