A few years ago, I read a blog post where the author declared their undying love for sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes. I’d never seen or heard of this … thing (not knowing what it was, I couldn’t decide if it was a vegetable or what). Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I discovered sunchokes for sale in a new local Whole Foods store. Of course I bought them right away and rushed home to cook them, right? Well, no. Actually, I made a mental note to purchase them next time and picked up my beloved daikon radishes instead.
Last week, I found myself back at the same Whole Foods and grabbed about a pound of sunchokes to try.
Sunchokes are a root vegetable that looks a lot like a potato with a hint of a knobby ginger root. Raw sunchokes are said to have the texture of water chestnuts, though I felt like it was little more like a raw radish (the red, round kind). When you cook them, they get creamy and smooth. The taste? They don’t have any overwhelming taste when raw (read: kind of bland) but when roasted, they take on a slight sweetness with hints of potato and artichoke heart. Actually, my husband and I agreed that the taste bears a stunning likeness to Terra chips.
I think the true test of a new food (and yes, this was a new food to me) is whether you would eat it again. I definitely will. And as with most veggies, they taste great when roasted. These will likely hit my table again this weekend.
- 1 lb sunchokes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rinse the sunchokes under cold water, scrubbing lightly to remove any dirt. Cut into quarters and place onto the baking sheet. Don’t over-crowd them though, they need their space.
- Drizzle the sunchokes with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 35-45 minutes, stirring once or twice.