What's up Sunchoke? Aren't you just such a weird little tuber...or should I call you Jerusalem Artichoke? Really though, you look like Ginger Root. This vegetable needs to rethink it's image, or maybe take a deep inward look.
I came across this little guy and some of his friends at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market last week. I have had an interest in sunchokes for some time, mostly just hoping to come across one in it's purest form.I had no idea that they looked like little people living underneath sunflowers. Really, they are the roots of a flowering plant that very much resembles sunflowers! I immediately snapped up a carton of them and took them home to conduct diabolical experiments.
Actually, I just ended up pureeing them using a recipe based on some hearsay at the Farmer's Market. Here is their story.
- 1 lb Sunchokes
- Whole Milk
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
First, wash and peel these little buggers. I used a vegetable peeler, and it was not very easy. They kept slipping through my fingers and hiding behind things on my counter. Once peeled, chop them into smallish chunks and put them in a pan with whole milk. Make sure the milk is covering the 'chokes by at least 1 inch.
Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until they are soft throughout. Drain the milk, and puree in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added a teeny bit of delicious European butter...because that's how I roll.
My honest opinion? They were a bit sweet for my taste...the cayenne helped with that a little, but they were very much like weird, mildly sweet tasting potatoes. I used mine as some bedding for Osso Bucco, which you will see very soon, and it definitely meshed well with a hearty dish like that. I would eat them again, but try a new method...perhaps mixing them in with real potatoes. Either way, Sunchokes are a great winter vegetable, easy to find at your local farmer's market and extremely fun to photograph.