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.
This recipe is a cinch to double or triple to serve more people.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.