Can’t find any oysters at the seafood counter? Grab some scorzonera instead. Originally from the Mediterranean, this root vegetable has a distinctive oysterlike flavor that diminishes quickly once it’s harvested. So keep an eye out for it at farmers’ markets and eat it the day you buy it. The roots are great sources of calcium and iron and can even be tossed into a mock oyster stew. But the best way to eat it is either roasted or sautéed in a little butter. Boil the roots first, which makes it easier to remove the skin; then drizzle them with olive oil and roast them or sauté them in butter. A lot of European chefs recommend serving scorzonera with some sour cream on the side.
Photo: Christa Neu