Eating the Seasons: Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes (a.k.a. Sunchokes)

13 Dec

There’s nothing like having a new food experience. When you find a new ingredient you really love, you want to eat it all day, everyday, for an entire week; you can’t get enough. You ask, “sunchokes, where have you been all my life?!?” Or at least, that’s what I did.

So yummy!

 

I was introduced to sunchokes for the first time over Thanksgiving break, when I got a chance to eat at Heartland, the new James Beard nominated restaurant in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Heartland’s philosophy is that local, sustainable ingredients make the most delicious meals, and I believed them more with every bite. Roasted sunchokes were the highlight of my dish, walleye with kale and chanterelle mushrooms in a tomato broth. They had the rich, nutty sweetness of an artichoke heart crossed with the creamy texture of roasted fingerling potatoes.  YUM!

Because they have such a similar flavor to artichokes, I was surprised to find out that sunchokes, which are also known as Jerusalem artichokes, aren’t actually related to their namesake vegetable. Sunchokes are actually a type of sunflower, and their root, which is a tuber that actually looks a lot like ginger root, is what you eat. I love the flavor you get from roasting them like a root vegetable–and I also love that, as you can see from the recipe below, it makes for a quick and easy meal–but you can also shave them very thinly and eat them raw on a salad. Best of all, sunchokes are packed with potassium (650 mg per cup) and iron, which makes them a yummy, nutritious alternative to potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Scrub the tubers and remove any black “eyes”, just like you would clean a potato. You don’t need to peel the skin off of the chokes–it contains a lot of nutrients, and has a delicious flavor and texture after you roast them.

    Don't sunchokes look just like ginger root?

  2. Slice them up into medallion-sized pieces.
  3. Place the pieces onto a roasting sheet covered with aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.
  4. Roast in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the pieces become deliciously golden brown.
  5. Enjoy!
Advertisements

One Response to “Eating the Seasons: Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes (a.k.a. Sunchokes)”

  1. Finnegan December 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Wow – the sunchokes are definitely worth incorporating into the winter roasted root lineup. Could sunchokes be mashed, or added to a mash mix (potatoe) to give it a new flavor?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: