We might give up potatoes in place of the earthy tasting tuber known as the sunchoke. Also known as a Jerusalem artichoke, the sunflower root is making its way from the restaurant menu into the home kitchen. Sunchokes look like the cousin of ginger root. They’re small and knobby and have a smooth-ish light brown exterior. But inside, you will find flavors similar to chestnuts or jicama. Although available year-round, prime season for the edible sunflower root is spring because the roots are dug up now before the plant has fully blossomed.
Not only are they tasty, but the sunchoke also offers some pretty great health benefits. Sunchokes are rich in inulin which is a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health. Plus they are high in iron, vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. Sunchokes are low in calories and contain no fat making them a succulent treat for a healthy lifestyle.
Sunchokes can be used the same way you use potatoes. You can mash them, fry them and roast them. You can peel them or leave their skin on. They are delicious when diced, sliced or pureed. But unlike potatoes you can actually enjoy sunchokes raw. They have a sweet, mild flavor that can easily get lost in dishes that have other strong flavors, so we recommend trying these dishes that highlight the Jerusalem artichoke:
- Make these sure to please sunchoke latkas.
- Lightly sauté your sunchokes (or leave them raw!) and top them with this orange hazelnut gremolata.
- Bring an extra something-something to your gratin by adding sunchokes into the mix.
- Keep it simple and make these roasted sunchokes as a side dish for your next meal.
- Cream of sunchoke soup! Campbell’s is clearly missing a flavor from their soup collection.
Have you ever tried sunchokes? What do you think?