A Farmer’s Market Find: Crosnes

A Farmer's Market Find: Cosnes

A Farmer's Market Find: Cosnes

Getting up early last Saturday was the opportunity to go to the farmer’s market in the city. It was a nice winter warm day of walking pass stalls and creating a menu in my head for next week. Before it became too crowded, I was exiting the market with a heavy bag of Savoy cabbage, spicy turkey sausage, a smoked turkey wing to be placed in the freezer for Southern-style collard greens, gold rush apples, freshly baked pretzels as a low-fat snack, apple cider, and crosnes.

A Close Up View of Cosnes

A Close Up View of Cosnes

Stachys affinis, the Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot, or artichoke betony are a few alternative titles for this starchy root introduced as crosnes {pronounced crow’nz}. It’s a rare find in the United States, but it is common in France. After being introduced to European culture from China around the 19th century, it was renamed after an area around Paris, called Crosnes. Researching the vegetable online, I learned it was a welcome addition into French cuisine by sautéing it in butter or adding it to cream to make a gratin dish. At the stall where the tiny root was sold, a woman swooned at the first sight of seeing her beloved crosnes, for it reminded her of France. I happened to arrive in the last week of its yearly American appearance. The fancy heirloom vegetable that is related to the mint family, although visually it is difficult to see how, was costly at $16.00 per pound. I decided to purchase a quarter pound and hoped it did not sit at the bottom of the refrigerator, forgotten among familiar vegetables.

Going to the farmer’s market and discovering unusual produce, especially heirloom varieties, is an educational mind treat. Using unfamiliar vegetables in dishes is what makes eating healthy more interesting. My worries of not using crosnes were pacified when I needed a quick dinner the same day. The sign at the stall in the farmer’s market that lured me to the root read it has a similar taste to jicama. Thinking of what ingredients were in the kitchen, the idea of making a healthy Mexican salad was created. Without being an overpowering taste to the many flavors in the salad, crosnes added a slight refreshing nutty flavor. Jicama will substitute in the abstinence of crosnes the next time this salad is made, which will be in the summer.

References:
Stachys affinis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis
Ingredients: Crosnes, http://www.chow.com/ingredients/63
The Produce Hunter website. http://www.theproducehunter.com/productdisplay.asp?ID=2104

Recipe:

A Quick Meal: Black Beans, Corn, Feta Cheese, Cosnes and Shrimp Salad with Cilantro-Yogurt Dressing

A Quick Meal: Black Beans, Corn, Feta Cheese, Cosnes and Shrimp Salad with Cilantro-Yogurt Dressing

Black Beans, Corn, Feta Cheese, Cosnes and Shrimp Salad with Cilantro-Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients
1 to 2 cups of corn; if fresh, blanched; if frozen, defrosted and blanched/steamed
1/4 cup of feta cheese
1-14 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cosnes, roughly chopped or grated jicama
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 lb. shrimp, deveined and cleaned
Boston or romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn to pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro Yogurt Dressing

Directions
1. Mix all the ingredients above except dressing

2. Allow guest to spoon desired amount of dressing over their salad.

Cilantro Yogurt Dressing

The juice of one lime
2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 5 tbsp. of Greek Yogurt
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
dash of Tabasco sauce
pinch of smoked paprika
1/2 to 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 Serrano chili, diced
Crush red pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Whisk all ingredients together. Serve with salad.

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6 thoughts on “A Farmer’s Market Find: Crosnes

  • Pingback: American Cuisine on the Upper West Side | I Love The Upper West Side

  • April 16, 2012 at 12:23 am
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    Hi, Robert! I brought them on Union Square’s Green Market in New York.

  • April 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm
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    I am looking to grow crosnes, can you tell me what farmers market you found these I would like to buy some for planting
    thanks

  • February 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm
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    Nice find! An expensive tuber but interesting addition to an already lovely salad and dressing.

  • February 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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    I’ve never heard of crosnes, but I like any healthful food that can be sauteed in butter and served up just like that.

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