Scorzonera and Shiitake Mushrooms

We were delighted by our first encounter with scorzonera -- a root vegetable that is not nearly as well known in the states as it should be. The flavor is sweet, reminiscent of artichokes, and it pairs nicely with the earthiness of shiitake mushrooms.

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Scorzonera and Shiitake Mushrooms

1 lb scorzonera
8 oz shiitake mushrooms
2 T butter for the mushrooms (and a bit more for the scorzonera, if desired)
2-3 T parmesan cheese, grated
a sprinkle of parsley

Scrub the scorzonera liberally with a brush under running water to clean. Then peel the root vegetable with a sharp vegetable peeler, chopping the root into sections as you go. Place the freshly peeled sections in a small saucepan and cover with water that has a bit of lemon juice added. This prevents it from discoloring (which it will do quickly, if you're not careful).

When you've chopped all the scorzonera, place the saucepan over medium to medium-high heat and simmer the scorzonera until it is tender. This takes 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, sautee the shiitake mushrooms in the butter in a large skillet, taking care to allow the mushrooms to caramelize a bit in the pan. When the scorzonera is tender, drain it carefully and add it to the mushroom mixture. Add additional butter if desired. Toss to combine.

Serve sprinkled with parsley and parmesan.

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