No answer all day? I guess not many people have. I planted some this spring and the largest one is a sprig less than a foot tall, so it looks like it's going to be a while before I eat any. It does seem to be doing well in the hugelbeet planted with onions and carrots.
I grow and eat scorzonera - black salsify (ok, I don't think genus-wise this is really salsify). I like it quite a bit and it's easy to seed and grow without much care - I prefer to eat the roots in year 2, even after seeding.. Usually eaten diced in stir fry or soup. I also think it's cool that the flowers smell like cookies!
I have tried it a couple of times . Its not unusual to see it in the markets here in France in the late Autumn . Not tried growing it yet as it takes up a lot of space and time to grow and I did not like it that much as I found the bought stuff a bit tasteless. Its ok but not magic supposed to taste a bit like osysters but then I am not keen on them either .
Living in Anjou , France,
For the many not for the few
I grew some and let it seed. It has beautiful flowers and seeds itself nicely, especially if you help it along by pulling the seeds off (picture a big brown dandelion seedhead) and scatter them where you want them to come up (like flower borders). The roots are delicious sautéed in butter but they are thinner than carrots so it's a lot of work to peel them and you wind up with just a small amount to cook at the end, but the flavor is really nice. I think it tastes like fried clam strips.
Cookies! Well. Thankyou everyone this sures up my understanding of the plant. I have some growing at the moment. It has really shot up since last year. It is flowering now and I wasn't sure whether the roots were still good to eat, but here's the answer==better. hmmm So now, not only will I have bunches of seed, but a delicious dinner. What a life. More dinners endless intertwined with the roots of the strawberry, artichoke, and dandelion. Ha
Its a good winter root crop to dig up along with carrots and parnips. It has a flower that resembles a small tropical water lily and if you let it mature seeds, it will naturalize itself all over your garden (along with the parnips, which is also good at naturalizing).