What to Do With a Sunchoke
Sunchokes are odd, knobby root vegetables, available from mid-fall all to early spring. They have recently increased in popularity and presence, due in part to a culinary tradition that is always looking for new and interesting vegetables to prepare.
Despite their name, sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes, are not from the artichoke family, though they do taste a little bit like them. They’re called sunchokes because they originate from a plant related to the sunflower.
The color of sunchokes varies slightly, ranging from light brown and cream to pink and purple. When picking out sunchokes, you'll want to select those that are firm with no black spots or noticeable blemishes for the best cooking results.
If you are unsure how to cook with them, we have some great ideas for preparing this humble rhizome. They are edible both raw and cooked, and have skin that is also edible, but can be peeled if you prefer. They cook faster than potatoes, so they must be watched closely to avoid overcooking or burning.
Thinly slice raw sunchokes and add to salads or eat out of hand.
Use sunchokes as you would potatoes by frying, roasting, mashing, or boiling. They are lower in starch and are said to be easier to cook with than potatoes.
Chop and roast at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes and use as a side dish. They can also be roasted with other root vegetables.
Boil and mash sunchokes and make them into a soup with sautéed onions, a small potato, cream, thyme, and salt all blended smoothly together.
Find sunchokes at your farmers’ market this fall from C&M (Urban Organics) Farm out of Watsonville, Xiong Farm from Fresno, and Vang Farmers in Atwater. Your farmers’ market is the best place to get this hard-to-find vegetable!