For the Love of Sunchokes

Unless you are a super foodie like myself, chances are you’ve never heard of Sunchokes.  They’re an oddly shaped vegetable, a member of, believe it or not, the sunflower family.  They are often referred to as Jerusalem Artichokes, which is completely deceiving considering they have zero ties to Israel or Artichokes.

They have a similar look to raw ginger, completely misshapen with what seems like spores covering parts of the surface of the vegetable.  The taste, however, seems to be a cross between garlic and artichokes, slightly sweet and tart, especially when lightly sauteed.

Sunchokes, in their raw form

Sunchokes, in their raw form

I was first exposed to sunchokes earlier this year during my Mom’s birthday dinner at Piora, when these crisp beauties appeared adjacent to her chicken.  They are slowly starting to appear on the menu’s at city hot spots, leading me to believe these might be the city’s next Brussels Sprouts/Kale craze.

They are super easy to prepare at home.  I’ve been slicing them thin on a mandolin, before sauteing the sunchokes in a little olive oil and butter.  I’ve been serving them war with cooked Brussels sprouts over a salad, to give a facelift to a boring mixture of vegetables.  However, these could easily make an amazing side dish with any type of protein.

Sliced about 1/4 inch thick

Sliced about 1/4 inch thick

Heat a mixture of olive oil and butter, just so it coats the bottom of a pan.  Saute the sunchokes in batches, so each slice lays flat on the pan (you want to avoid crowding).  Flip over after about 5 minutes, when the slices start to turn golden brown.  Cook for another 5 minutes and then place on a paper towel to absorb any of the extra oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt, and serve!

Sauteed Sunchokes

Sauteed Sunchokes

These are addictive and delicious, plus way healthier then you’re average chip.  The only problem will be saving enough to share with friends and family.

So enjoy, and play around with Sunchokes.  I only wish I discovered this amazing veggie earlier.



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