Neither from Jerusalem nor an Artichoke, this guy’s stealing our spud’s thunder in many countries as it is used in very similar ways.
So what is it? The sunchoke is a variety of sunflower. A tuber with lumpy, brown-skin that often resembles a ginger root. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy and we have them on special this week.
Storage Tip: Store sunchokes in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. They’ll last no more than two weeks. Keep them away from the colder parts of the fridge, and don’t freeze them (raw or cooked).
Preparation Tip: There’s no need to peel them. Just give them a good scrub with a vegetable brush. Put sliced sunchokes in acidified water (add lemon juice) to avoid discoloration.
Fun fact… The calorie content of a sunchoke depends on how long it’s been stored – the older it is, the higher the sugar content.
Culinary Compatibility: So many possibilities! Try pairing them with leeks, watercress, thyme,tarragon, apples, walnuts, butter, bacon, Gruyere. Cut into sticks and serve with dip, or use in soups.
Health Information: Surprisingly, sunchokes are a leading vegetable source of iron! On par with the levels found in meat, but much easier to absorb. They also contain inulin, which is considered a diabetic-friendly carb, as it resists digestion and may limit a rise in blood sugar levels after eating. Inulin is also considered a prebiotic.
I’m off to go try my very first sunchoke after having just discovered all these wonderful things about them! I’ll leave you with a simple recipe by Jamie Oliver which is easy to pair with meats and fish.
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Sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves
A gorgeous alternative to roast spuds
- 600 g Jerusalem artichokes
- olive oil
- a few bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 splash white wine vinegar
To serve 4, you will need 600g/1lb 6oz of Jerusalem artichokes. Peel them, then cut them into chunks. Place them in an oiled frying pan and fry on a medium heat until golden on both sides, then add remaining ingredients and place a lid on top. After about 20 to 25 minutes they will have softened up nicely and you can remove the lid and the bay leaves. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to crisp the artichoke slices up one last time, then serve straight away. Serve with meat, fish or in a plate of antipasti, soups or warm salads.