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Jerusalem artichoke (aka sunchoke) recipes?

I just procured about 2 lbs. of knobby-looking sunchokes and am excited to cook them at home for the very first time. A quick search online has given me ideas to make a creamy soup or gratin. It looks like you can even serve these raw if you wish. I plan to scour some of my cookbooks to get some ideas as I believe Marcella has a couple of recipes for these babies.

So thought I'd ask you hounds if you have any favorite preps for sunchokes? Ideas from restaurant dishes you've enjoyed are also appreciated.

I'm excited to learn that these tubers are pretty healthy. Who knew that Jerusalem artichoke flour even existed?! For general info on sunchokes, see here: http://homecooking.about.com/library/...

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  1. Peel them as much as possible, slice 1/2 inch thick, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them until soft. That's my favorite, super easy way to prepare them. They are so delicious!

    7 Replies
    1. re: pitterpatter

      I totally agree! Though I often saute mine if I'm in a rush. The only thing I'd add is a bit of lemon juice. They are absolutely divine, and the crispy exterior vs creamy interior when you bite into them is heaven!

      1. re: pitterpatter

        Sounds so good. What temp & how long do you roast them?

        1. re: fauchon

          In a saute pan, they cook up in about 5-7 minutes (mine are usually 3/4" chunks) on medium. The trickiest part is the peeling of them. Don't forget to squeeze some lemon juice in a bowl of water so that you can toss them in as you peel them...they discolour quickly.

          1. re: AmandaEd

            I would not peel them at all, just give them a scrub. It is perfectly edible and there is actually a lot of flavor and color in the skin.

              1. re: ngardet

                Great advice on both peeling and sauteing! I sauteed some onion and yellow pepper till just soft, added the sunchokes, which were roughly peeled (only thickest, easiest to reach peel removed) and soaked in acidulated water. I sauteed them just 5 minutes and they came out pretty crunchy and wonderfully sweet and flavorful. I might try sauteeing a minute longer next time but not much more because I wouldn't want to miss that lovely flavor.

                Last time I made sunchokes, I peeled them completely, diced them and added them to a butternut squash and chicken pot pie, in which they were also wonderful.

            1. re: fauchon

              I'd roast them at 375 for about 7 - 10 min. Completely guessing, but you could start there and adjust according to taste.

              Oh my gosh, I may have to stop on the way home and get some of these. YUM!!

          2. I made a Jerusalem artichoke soup recently that was delicious - earthy and nutty. The flavor is subtle so don't overwhelm with a lot of other ingredients. I finished with a swirl of truffle oil which raised it from delicious to sublime. If you have real truffles, I'm sure that would put if over the top.

            I tasted an artichoke or two while peeling. They're supposed to be a substitute for water chestnuts but I found them sweetish and a bit bland when raw.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cheryl_h

              the sunchokes have a totally different flavor raw than cooked. raw, they aren't anything special and quite bland in my opinion. but any form of cooking (pan sauteing, roasting, braising, and even boiled (adding to souped and stews) brings out a very rich, very deep, earthy flavor that is great with truffles.

              it's a strong flavor, so a little goes a long way, or else it overpowers.

              i recently roasted some that i tossed with truffle oil, sea salt, and rosemary along with some beets, turnips, and radish. delicious!

              i also posted a recipe for Chestnut Soup earlier in the month that i use them in, along with the roasted chestnuts and truffle oil. a good amount of work (roasting and peeling the chestnuts) but a lovely soup.

              alekz

              1. re: cheryl_h

                Cheryl, do you mind sharing your sunchoke soup recipe? Have been looking for one since I had it out recently and I'm desperate to make it at home!

                1. re: meganw

                  Meganw, sorry to be so long to reply, I haven't checked the board for a few days. The recipe I used is based on this one:

                  http://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/re...

                  It's pretty simple, just artichokes cooked in some stock and pureed with a little cream. I added about a Tbs of truffle oil to each serving. I don't know if it's the same as the version you ate, but is good all the same.

                  1. re: cheryl_h

                    Cheryl, thanks so much! I'll give it a try... sounds fantastic. M

              2. Thanks for the replies so far. I looked through a number of my cookbooks last night and Marcella's Classics was the only one w/ any sunchoke recipes; she has something like four. One was fried sunchoke chips that sounded delicious. I think I'm going to roast them for simplicity sake and to allow them to really shine. I'll have to taste them raw too, just to see. If I can get more, then soup and gratin are certainly on the list!

                1. follow yr regular mashed potato recipe but use 1/2 regular potatoes, 1/2 sunchokes. feed to friends and/or family who will exclaim, "holy crap! these are the most incredibly delicious mashed potatoes i've ever tasted!"

                  1. So I ended up roasting the sunchokes w/ some rosemary, S&P, and olive oil. I prepped them by roughly peeling them and slicing them into 1/4" discs. Wow, they were a hassle to peel--so tedious I wanted to cry. Haven't felt that kind of tedium since trying to deseed concord grapes for that pie!! I decided that I won't bother peeling next time. Roasted on fairly high heat (around 400F) for 30-35 min.

                    Ok, here's the weird thing--they tasted not so good. I was shocked since I've had them before and they tasted sweet, earthy, nutty. My batch had a very unpleasant bitter aftertaste. They also tasted a little spongey and not quite cooked through even though 30 min. seemed like enough time and they were pretty shriveled. What went wrong? Maybe they were too old? Thoughts?

                    Photo of them roasted:

                     
                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Carb Lover

                      Yeah, that's exactly what it sounds like -- too long from field to table. It can be hard with tubers/root veg. to judge just how fresh they are. Sometimes they seem fine and it's only after you cook them that their overlong shelflife reveals itself. This happened to me recently with beets.

                    2. Jerusalem artichokes, or 'sunchokes' are one of my very favorite vegetables. They are native to Massachusetts and are the tubers (like potatoes are tubers) found at the base of tall sunflower-like plants. We eat them frequently and we never peel them. no need. For us, they taste like very nutty carrots. The crispness of jicama or water chestnuts except both of those have no flavor.The easiest way to deal with them is to wash them well, slice thinly and toss in your salad. Superduper. The other ways we like them are:

                      lightly coated with oil, s&p, and roasted on a sheet pan at 400 degrees just til done (overdone and they're mealy). Very quick- 5-8 minutes usually. (Carb Lover- I think you just wicked overcooked yours.)

                      I did a gratin with them tonight- thinly sliced and layered w/ sliced yukon gold potatoes and some sauteed onions in a baking dish, seasoned heavy cream poured over and baked til done. Just use any potato gratin recipe and substitute all or part jerusalem artichokes.

                      I also do a fabulous thick creamy sunchoke soup. Sauteed onions and chokes, covered with chicken or beef stock, orange zest, s&p,cooked til done, pureed, stock and cream added to desired thickness.

                      By the way, jerusalem artichokes last a LONG time in the frig, like carrots. If they have gone too far, they are wrinkled and flabby/soft( like an old potato or an old carrot.) Their skin is ALWAYS thin and never needs to be peeled.
                      Also, I saved this from a previous thread and thought you might enjoy it:
                      REALLY fun story of how they got their french name of Topinambours. they are native to my adopted state of MASSACHUSETTS and became the rage in early 18th c.england when they accompanied a group of american Indians who were introduced to the court of England soon after the English colonized Mass. By happenstance, these jerusalem articokes were introduced into france (from england) at the same time that a BRAZILIAN Indian tribe was being introduced to the French court. and what was the name of the brazilian Indian tribe? why, les Topinambours, of course!! so, the french mistakenly believed that jerus artich were brought to them by the brazilian indians; hence their french name of topinambours

                      .

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: onefineleo

                        I have a question, onefineleo: a friend of mine told me he had "globe artichoke root" gratin at Thanksgiving. someone's relative made it from the roots of globe artichokes she grew in her garden. Could the sunflower-like plants that Jerusalem artichokes come from be at all related to globe artichokes? I was rather confused, because from his description of the dish, it sounded like Jerusalem artichokes to me, but apparently the relative was adamant.

                        1. re: Sophia.

                          No, they are in two different families. Jerusalem Artichoke is in the sunflower family, Globe artichoke is in the thistle family. Perhaps the roots of globe artichoke are edible - I've never heard that they are. I suspect the relative was just confused.

                        2. re: onefineleo

                          onefineleo...your dishes sound delicious. if you're ever in Chicago, please stop by and we'll make a mess of a kitchen. cheers, Jamie

                        3. Marcella's sunchoke gratin is easily and excellent. The coup sounds like an excellent idea - I shall have to try it.

                          1. You do not have to peel them. Wash well and slice . I cut them in small chunks, mixed with a little olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a dash of fresh lemon juice, along with fresh thyme, parsley and garlic. Salt and pepper. Ummm

                            1. They are fine fare, and a fine, handsome plant, but there are cautions.

                              These plants are prolific. They reproduce from seed, rhizomes and the tubers themselves. They will dominate a small patch in short order, and as they are a sunflower, they cast the garden into shade. Their root system spreads madly. It took me about three years to rid them from our garden. I've located nearby wild stands for our occasional use. The tubers are at their best after a deep frost.

                              There is a delayed digestion of the starch/sugar component that greatly benefits diabetics. This same process leads to pronounced flatulence.

                              As with garlic, both partners must partake.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: DockPotato

                                Thank you for your post! I have a small bag of JSunchokes from my CSA and have been wary of cooking them due to my bf's insistence they will make one gassy. I am going to mash or roast them anyway and make him eat them!

                                1. re: rabaja

                                  I'm forbidden to cook them or eat them because of the flatulence problem. Really. It's that bad. Like nonstop for hours.

                                  Be cautious!

                                  (too bad, because I love them!)

                                  1. re: mimilulu

                                    Last time we had them (cooked) my husband felt like he was going to explode even though he has eaten them in the past with no issues. A little research seemed to indicate he had a reaction to the inulin. He won't be eating them again.

                              2. Late to post to the OP, but I'll add my two cents.
                                I love sunchokes, and will snatch them up at the market when they are (briefly) in season. I scrub (not peel) them, slice them, and often will saute them in butter, a bit of broth, garlic, and s&p until soft and golden brown. I often find a few pieces that take wayyy longer to cook - perhaps a different part of the root, or an older piece, who knows.
                                And ditto on the flatulence. Whew. I always take 'Beano' when eating sunchokes.

                                1. Craigie Street Bistrot, a very good restaurant in Cambridge,MA does a Jerusalem artichoke soup that is delicious. The chef shared the recipe as a little take-away during restaurant week a few years ago. I'll see if I can track it down. The soup is easy to make and elegant for a dinner party starter.

                                  1. Thanks to all of you who posted here for giving me some idea of how to cook these. I saw this post after buying some sunchokes and having no idea what to do with them. My partner and I ate them tonight and loved them. Nice artichoky flavor without all the work of peeling artichokes. I cut them up small, fried them for a few minutes with garlic, spring onions, zucchini and powdered cumin, and then let the dish stew for a few minutes in vegetable broth and a little red wine until the sunchokes are tender. Delish.

                                    1. yet another really late post in reply to this: just wanted to thank everyone for all the info and ideas. i never managed to dig mine up before winter hit, and now i have about (my amateur guess) 5-7 pounds of these babies to deal with and this thread gave me ample ideas! they are gorgeous - firm and crisp - and i am hungry!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: dani_k

                                        I recently made a sunchoke and cauliflower gratin that was delicious! The combo works well together.

                                        If your sunchokes are very fresh and sweet, then they are great shaved thinly into a salad.

                                      2. After buying some sunchokes at my local market, I researched how to use them reading this thread. From the responses, I got a good feel about how to use them and here's a delicious soup I came up with:

                                        http://houndstoothgourmet.com/puree-o...

                                        Puree of Sunchoke Soup

                                        Serves 4-6

                                        Ingredients

                                        1 lb. sunchokes
                                        1 large shallot, diced
                                        4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
                                        4 cups low sodium chicken stock
                                        1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
                                        1 bay leaf
                                        1/2 cup heavy cream
                                        salt and pepper
                                        white truffle oil (optional)
                                        Directions

                                        Prepare sunchokes by scrubbing and peeling off any “eye’s” are dark blemishes. Slice into 1 inch pieces.

                                        Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften and become transluscent. Add sunchokes and stir. Add thyme, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

                                        Add chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, until sunchokes are easily pierced with a fork.

                                        Remove bay leaf. Puree mixture in batches using a blender, or in the pot using a stick blender. Blend until smooth. You can choose to strain the soup with a fine mesh/chinois at this point. I left my soup a bit rustic.

                                        Return soup to pot and add cream. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

                                        Serve garnished with a drizzle of white truffle oil (optional).

                                         
                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: monavano

                                          That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            this is a terrific recipe;just ike mine from looong ago. Neat tweak: orange zest really does something w/ jer. art.Instead of truffle oil, try some orange zest. yummm!

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              Oooh, that sounds neat. Will def. try it.

                                          2. I made up this lentil soup recipe with jerusalem artichokes:

                                            Recipe: Winter Lentil Soup
                                            (Serves 4+)

                                            1 cup dry french green lentils (the little, pretty ones). Soak overnight.
                                            3-4 cups mushroom broth (Pacific makes a great one) or chicken, turkey or lamb broth
                                            1 onion, chopped
                                            Dash of white wine
                                            A few carrots sliced
                                            A few jerusalem artichokes, sliced.
                                            Red palm oil
                                            Pinch of saffron
                                            1/2 bunch mustard greens (or kale or other greens)
                                            A few tablespoons cream (or crème fraîche or yogurt)
                                            Salt to taste

                                            Soak your lentils for a few hours or overnight. Drain when it’s time to cook them.

                                            Chop up your onion in medium-thin pieces. Sauté in red palm oil. Add carrots if using them. When onions are soft, add a pinch of saffron and stir. Add a dash of white wine and let it cook into the onions. Add your lentils, potatoes or jerusalem artichokes, and broth. Cook covered until lentils are very soft. Salt to taste. Turn the heat very low and use a stick blender for a few five second intervals in the soup to thicken the broth by blending a bit of the lentils and vegetables. Chop the mustard greens and add them, turning the heat off. Stir in a few tablespoons of cream. Taste and, if perfect, serve.

                                            Debs
                                            http://food.gofrolic.org

                                            1. You have truly stirred up a lust for this vegetable that hit me when we visited a Los Angeles restaurant called Craft. Spousal unit and I ordered a benign enough sounding dish called "Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes". OH MY GAWD, it was ummmazing. Buttery, tender, flavorful---and nothing like an artichoke (not that we don't love artichokes). It seemed to be a cross between a tuber and green veggie. All I know is that I have been "googling" like crazy to find the best way to prepare this vegetable.
                                              And by the way---at another trip to Craft, our server told us that just salt, butter, and olive oil is what transformed this vegetable into nirvana!
                                              Cheers, and thanks for your post
                                              Jeff

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: JeffW

                                                I'm sure Craft's version is delicious. Do they leave the skin on??

                                                I'm going to look for them at my farmers market this weekend since they'll be out of season soon...

                                                1. re: Carb Lover

                                                  I left most of the skin on when I made the soup mentioned above. I just used a peeler to peel off any knobby/hard spots or discoloration. Otherwise, the chokes went into the soup skin and all.
                                                  The farmer I bought them from said there's no need to peel the skin and he also said the best way to enjoy them is simply to s&p with evoo.
                                                  I too have fallen in love with these little tubers, although after finishing up (a huge bowl) the leftovers of my soup, I found myself, ahem, visiting the bathroom a bit.
                                                  Sorry to be indelicate, but it may be best to eat in small portions to see how you handle it.
                                                  Undettered....I am going to look for it again at the farmers market this weekend!
                                                  see here: http://houndstoothgourmet.com/at-the-...

                                                  1. re: Carb Lover

                                                    Gawsh, after their "bathtub" sized Manhattan's, I don't think that I noticed. I'll definitely try to see if the chokes are skinless or not next time :)

                                                    1. re: JeffW

                                                      Although it's important to support your local growers, Jerusalem Artichokes are rediculously easy to grow - to the point of becoming invasive. When the weather warms up, plant a couple of the tubers (fresher, better) in the ground where they get lots of sun. Around the end of summer you'll have beautifully tall sunflower type flowers. The birds love the seeds, but will also spread them all over. I cut them for arrangements. Starting about the time the weather cools down, start digging them up. I clean them by soaking them in water while digging, then use a pressurized hose attachment to blast off what's left.

                                                      1. re: swhite47

                                                        i am going to do this, for sure. the sunchokes i just bought were quite expensive for a small amount.

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          they should be around $4 lb in boston area.

                                                2. So glad to find this old thread. Sunchokes are now available again at my local farm. If there are any more recipes out there, please do tell! I am going to try sauteeing some this weekend.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: 3catsnh

                                                    I too just happened upon this thread and am very happy to have found it. The tips and recipes in these posts are very intriguing and have me wishing I had requested a couple of the tubers yesterday. I had the chance to tour a home which has come on the market, in hopes of finding a place to relocate to, and the homeowners raised Sunchokes. They said they really enjoy the natural privacy fence as theirs get to be about 7 feet in height and a dense enough that they create a tall hedge/fence which affords them a level of privacy that they don't have from the nearby street and traffic. They had three beds (two by the sidewalk and one by the big window on the front of the house) and they said that they harvest them throughout the winter months as they over-winter in the ground quite well. What they don't harvest produces the next year's crop. I didn't get much information from them at that time about uses and such, but found the cultivation and growth uses quite interesting. NOW I can't wait to taste them - they sound incredibly versatile and tasty.

                                                  2. Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to Jerusalem Artichokes. I've heard that folks of Mediterranean descent are most affected. This can range from usual allergy symptoms to extreme & painful flatulence. Just something to keep in mind when eating them for the first time.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Breezychow

                                                      Extreme flatulence isn't allergy related, it's a very common/typical response to the inulin they contain. I swear, you could heat your house with the gas those things produce.

                                                      Here's a related quote: the English planter John Goodyer on Jerusalem artichokes:
                                                      "which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men."

                                                      I like the taste, hate the after effects!

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        I am fortunate to have never noticed a gas problem after eating my sunchoke soup. Now, a bowl of lentil soup on the other hand... whooboy! Look out.

                                                    2. I got some sunchokes at a farmers' market with no idea how to make them, just because they were different. This thread was really helpful, but I ended up making a recipe from the homecooking section of about.com:

                                                      http://homecooking.about.com/od/chick...

                                                      It was a little weird, but good, and definitely an appropriate & different use of JAs; note that recipe name says basil, but herb ingredient is thyme (I made with basil, because that was what I had on hand). Also, added extra broth & cauliflower to simmer for the last bit to make a fully rounded meal.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: annomy

                                                        Wow, just realized that as posted, you can't tell that the above recipe is for Lemon Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes! Sorry...

                                                        1. re: annomy

                                                          thnx so much; i'm making this for tonight's dinner!

                                                          1. re: annomy

                                                            annomy, i did make your recipe last night for dinner . It was delicious and i'd like to work on it some more,so th you so much for posting it !

                                                            i don't know if your '2 lemons' yielded much less juice than mine, but that element was the one problem for me. it was overpowering and i spent alot of time trying to decrease the tartness(and trust me, i love all citrus).I'm guessing it was the juice, but maybe the fact that i used a micro plane for the zest- also added to it....... So I added a lot of chicken demiglace (that's how i store my chicken stock, cooked way down so it takes up little space in a perpetually packed freezer)
                                                            and maybe 3 T of tamari. I added dried thyme at the beginning but didn't use enough; more next time.

                                                            Few questions:
                                                            Do you partly cover the pan for the 45 min? i did because i was worried the sauce would disappear. Your chokes- how did they end up - soft/mushy, or w/ some give? you know how they differ in size; well your recipe disn't say to cut them but i did- into 1-2" pieces. they were mushy by the end but i thought that wouldn't have happened, maybe, if i hadn't had the lid partially over the pan......

                                                            I loved it that the garlic was sweet and creamy and the chicken was lovely moist and tender.
                                                            as i roll it over in my sensory mind, i wonder if it might be good w/ a light parm topping/run under the broiler or high oven for a few minutes..... but maybe not.....

                                                            thnx so much again!

                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                              Glad you liked it! I'll be making it again, and working on it also... For the lemons - as I recall, I used one for juice (prob ~2T?), served the other in wedges on the side. You're right, lemons are really erratic in how much juice they produce! Yes, cooked covered, but not tightly closed, so the sauce could cook down. Only peeled the really knobbby bits off the sunchokes, but did cut them in pieces about garlic-clove size. Next time I might try w/ some broccoli so it's not all so white! I'm not sure about the parm topping/broiler treatment - could go either way... If you try, let me know! And again, you're welcome!

                                                        2. I have used them instead of Potatoes when making Potato pancakes. They come out very delicious. Actually the first time I picked up a little bag of these, it came with a recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke pancakes.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: RUK

                                                            ruk, YOU are dangerous!! sounds mighty addictive.

                                                          2. Jerusalem artichokes are great as a soup, gratin, fried chips, or puree. Also good, as others have mentioned, simply roasted.

                                                            This is the soup we made at my previous job. Season as you go, of course: Sweat onions, celery, potatoes in butter till soft. Add think sliced sunchokes and saute till soft. Top with water or vegetable broth & simmer. Puree with blender. Add creme fraiche to taste. Garnish with hazelnut oil. Lovely.

                                                            A puree works nicely as a garnish: Slice sunchokes thin. Top just till covered in a pot with heavy cream. Cover with parchment lid and simmer on low till soft. Drain and puree in blender, seasoning to taste and adding just enough cream back as needed to produce a good texture.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: yumyumyogi

                                                              yum, we have been eating them for years; a regular in our salads, and soup, and a ground beef 'stew' w/dry sherry, sour cream and lovage.But the most amazing chokes i think i've ever tasted were simply ROASTED, at a fancy/expensive farm-to-table restnt in D.C. a few yrs ago. Gonna do this soon. Yay for their nuttiness!