Jerusalem artichoke, also known as sunchoke, is a root tuber of a wild sunflower native to the United States. Native Americans introduced these to colonists, who found them to be a staple food in staving off famines during the period between the last of the winter food stores and the beginning of the first harvest. The sunchoke is worth a creative effort in the kitchen. Its mild, sweet, nutlike flavor is very adaptable. Nutritionally it is a good source of iron and niacin. Sunchokes are free of any starch, and have a polysaccharide called inulin that is digested slowly and lowers blood sugar, making it a highly recommended food choice for diabetics.
How to Prepare:
Rinse sunchoke tubers under cold water, scrubbing well to remove any soil. A stiff bristled brush may be helpful.
How to Store:
Store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will shrivel as they dry out. To restore crispness, soak in ice water. For long-term storage, bury sunchokes in damp sand in a cold but not freezing environment like a root cellar, garage, or basement.
How to Cook:
Jerusalem artichokes can be enjoyed raw or cooked; sauteed, stir-fried, steamed, simmered, or baked.
Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini
Easy Roasted Sunchokes (Paleo “Steak Fries”)
- 1lb sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes), scrubbed
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped italian or curled parsley
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the sunchokes with a potato brush and chop into 1 inch bite-size chunks. Toss in a medium sized bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the skin is slightly browned. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve plain or with a side of ketchup.
Recipe courtesy of Olive and Herb
Fennel, Sunchokes, and Apple Salad
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 6 sunchokes, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 gala or fuji apples, cored and very thinly sliced
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and very thinly sliced
In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and fennel fronds to make a smooth vinaigrette. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste. Add radishes, sunchokes, apples, and fennel. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day, to allow the flavors to come together. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur
Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Fried Parsnip and Mushrooms
- 2 pounds sunchokes
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- ¾ cup white wine
- 3-⅓ cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ⅔ cup cream
- 1 parsnip, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- chili oil (optional)
Peel the sunchokes, cut in equal slices, and add the lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Heat half the oil in a pan over medium low heat and add the shallots, cooking until soft. Add the sunchoke, fry briefly, and add the white wine. Reduce slightly, then add the broth. Allow to simmer on low heat until sunchoke is soft and cooked. Purée the soup in a processor or hand blender.
Add the cream and stir well. Peel the parsnip and cut into thin slices. Heat the butter and reserved olive oil in a skillet and pan fry the parsnip and mushrooms until the edges turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Pour soup into bowls and top with the parsnips and mushrooms. Dot with chili oil (optional).
Recipe courtesy of Tartine and Apron Strings
Celery Root and Potato Puree with Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke “Croutons”
- 2 medium celery roots, trimmed, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 8 ounces Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes), scrubbed
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (for garnish)
Combine first 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer with lid slightly ajar until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir over medium heat to dry vegetables. Using potato masher, mash vegetables until coarsely pureed. Mash in 3-½ tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut Jerusalem artichokes into ½-inch cubes. Place in medium bowl; add oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Dot with remaining ½ tablespoon butter. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; roast until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Place celery root and potato puree in serving bowl. Sprinkle Jerusalem artichokes and chopped thyme over and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Epicurious
Sunchoke-Kale Hash with Farro
- ¾ cup farro
- 2-½ pounds large sunchokes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound Tuscan kale, tough stems discarded
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil blended with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ pound oyster mushrooms, halved if large
- Freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the sunchokes with water and add a pinch of salt. Boil until the sunchokes are tender, 10 minutes; drain. Slice the sunchokes ¼ inch thick. Fill the large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the Tuscan kale and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
Drain the kale and let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the kale leaves and then coarsely chop them. In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the sunchokes in an even layer and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
Turn the sunchokes, reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Push the sunchokes to the side of the skillet. Add 1 more tablespoon of the oil and the oyster mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil along with the farro, kale and onion and cook, stirring, until hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine