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Video: Oat Root And Scorzonera
Vegetable Oyster and Kozelets
Oat root and scorzonera were well known to Petersburgers two centuries ago and are almost forgotten now, although they are healthy and tasty.
The modern assortment of vegetable crops is rich and varied. Among table root crops, undoubtedly, the first place is shared by beets and carrots, turnips and radishes, celery and parsnips.
But there are also some root crops about which almost nothing is known now, although in the 17th – 19th centuries they were grown in large quantities in St. Petersburg gardens. The residents of the capital then had no difficulty in buying them in the city's markets, and in the “St. Petersburg Vedomosti” of that time one could often find advertisements for the sale of these vegetables. These vegetable crops will be discussed, namely, oat root and scorzonera.
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These two plants belong to the same family - aster, they have the same life cycle, referring to biennial crops. In the first year of their life, a rosette of leaves forms and a root crop is formed, and in the second year, flowering occurs and seeds ripen.
Oat root (goatbeard)
(Tragopogon porrifolius L.) is a biennial plant of the Aster family. In the first year of life, it forms a grayish-white cylindrical root crop with a diameter of 3-4 cm and a rosette of leaves, and in the second year - stems, inflorescences and seeds. Its leaves are linear-lanceolate, the stem is 100-150 cm high. The flowers are purple or violet-red collected in inflorescences - single baskets on long peduncles. The fruit is a brown achene with a tuft.
Oat root is a cold and winter hardy plant. It is grown by sowing seeds in open ground. He prefers light, organic-rich, neutral or slightly alkaline soils with a deep arable layer. Overripe manure is applied a year before sowing this culture. Seeds are sown in early spring with a row spacing of 45-50 cm. Seedlings are thinned when the plant reaches a height of 7-8 cm, leaving them in a row after 10-15 cm, while loosening the row spacings. Root crops are harvested in late autumn.
Oat root is valuable for its dietary properties. It is often called "vegetable oyster" because when cooked it has a very pleasant delicate taste, reminiscent of that of oysters. Its roots are eaten in salads, as a seasoning for soups, as a side dish for fish and meat, and they are also used to prepare a coffee substitute.
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(Scorzonera hispanicci L.) is a biennial plant of the Aster family. In the first year, it forms an erect or spreading rosette of dark green lanceolate leaves, 30 to 50 cm long, 5 to 11 cm wide, and a fleshy root vegetable, 19 to 25 cm long, 2 to 4 cm thick.
It is pivotal, dark brown in color, weighing up to 100-120 g, secreting milky juice on the cut. The stem of this plant is usually branched, each of its shoots usually ends with a basket-shaped inflorescence.
The flowers are yellow with a pleasant vanilla scent. They open in the morning and close in the evening. Seeds are narrow, elongated, whitish-yellowish, have a crest (sail), like a dandelion.
Scorzonera is a cold-resistant plant, it can winter in open ground without shelter. The best predecessors for this species are vegetable crops, under which manure was applied. Seeds are sown in open ground in early spring, to a depth of 2-3 cm. Seedlings do not appear together on 8-10 days, and in case of drought, only on 20 days.
Sowing is thinned first at a distance of 3-5 cm, and then, when three true leaves are formed, by 10-15 cm. The growing season of this plant is 100-120 days. Root crops overwinter well in the field and, under the influence of low temperatures, acquire a delicate texture and pleasant taste.
Scorzonera is a valuable dietary product containing potassium, phosphorus and iron salts, ascorbic acid and up to 20% sugars. Young leaves are used for food, from which salads and sauces are made. Cooking root vegetables like asparagus or cauliflower, they are seasoned with soups, used to make soft drinks and a substitute for coffee.