The sun choke or earth apple is a native North American species and a member of the sunflower family. The first cultivated crop was discovered by a French explorer on Cape Cod in 1605. This little tuber is very popular among our chefs and is perhaps the last tuber we have left in the spring. In the 1980’s a pyramid scheme was devised convincing some Midwestern farmers and investors that there would be a hot commodities market for these tubers. It never materialized.
STORAGE Keep damp in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.
PREPARATION Scrub the sunchokes clean with a vegetable brush. Since much of their nutrients are stored just under the skin, it's best not to peel them. Once cut, sunchokes discolor quickly, so it's best to cut them close to serving time, or cut and immerse them in water with lemon or vinegar to prevent oxidation. Cooking them with the skins on may cause a darkening of the skins because of their high iron content.
Slice sunchokes and enjoy the crunch they add to your salad.
Slice and serve them along with crudites and dips.
Shred them into a slaw. Dice them into a chopped salad.
Slice, dice, or shred and marinate in a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or rice vinegar
Coarsely chop sunchokes and add to the blender when preparing raw soups.
Slice, dice, or shred and stir fry along with other fresh vegetables in a little extra virgin olive
oil. They will become softened in about 4 to 6 minutes. For a tender crisp texture, stir fry about 2 to 4
Sunchokes can be baked whole or sliced. Toss them in a bowl with a little extra virgin olive oil
and place on a baking sheet. Set the oven temperature at 375 and bake 30 to 45 minutes for whole, and
20 to 25 minutes for sliced, turning them half way through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Coarsely chop the Jerusalem artichokes and put them into a steamer basket. Cover and bring
to a boil over high heat. Continue at high heat and steam for 5 to 8 minutes. Test for softness. Remove
and season to taste or mash like potatoes.
Sunchokes can be boiled whole or cut as desired. Bring a covered saucepan of water to a boil
over high heat. Add sunchokes and boil for 10 to 15 minutes for whole, and 5 to 8 minutes for cut up.
Season as desired or mash like potatoes. As you can see, Jerusalem artichokes can be enjoyed with any
meal, adding a special taste and texture to the palate. Below is a recipe that is as unique as the plant
just washed and roasted in the toaster oven on broil til they were soft - couldn't get any easier
put one in a pot of dirt to see if it sprouts, or just plant straight in the garden. They grow VERY
tall up to 10 feet with little sunflowers on top. So choose the area well.
2 C. (480 ml) coarsely shredded Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
1/2 C. (118 ml) raw pecans, coarsely chopped or coarsely ground in a nut twister
1/4 of a red bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste 6 to 8 slices whole grain bread
12 to 16 large basil leaves
3 tomatoes, sliced
3 to 4 butter lettuce leaves (optional)
Combine sunchokes, pecans, and red bell pepper with enough mayonnaise to moisten and hold mixture
together. Season as desired. Spread mayonnaise over bread slices. Divide sunchoke mixture and spread
over half the bread slices. Top with 4 basil leaves, tomato slices, and lettuce, if desired. Cover with top
bread slice and cut in half. Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches. Serve with salad and fruit for a tasty light meal.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Categories: Soups, Vegetables Yield: 4 servings 2 lb Jerusalem artichokes, 6 c Chicken broth, 1 c Thinly
sliced green onions, Salt/pepper to taste, 2 T Minced fresh dill,
Scrub Jerusalem artichokes and cook in simmering water 30-40 minutes, until tender. Drain and discard
cooking liquid. Peel and mash artichokes and place in a large saucepan. Stir in chicken broth and green
onions. Simmer for about 15 minutes; season to taste with salt/pepper and serve sprinkled with dill.
Source: Spirit of the Harvest
Raw Sunchokes Vinaigrette
Here is a dish that was a hit at the CSA Potluck (but even if you were there, you might not have known
what it was). It is a quick and easy way to enjoy Jerusalem artichokes, a plant native to this area.
Wash the artichokes, peeling is optional, then either grate by hand or throw in a food-processor. Pour on
vinaigrette and serve.
¼ C. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1 C. olive oil
½ tsp. Sea salt
heaping tsp. Horseradish mustard
heaping tsp. Really Raw Honey
Stir—adjust to taste.
Can add: cayenne, black pepper, dill, etc. for variety.
Try this vinaigrette with other raw vegetables such as carrots; radishes—most anything. Also try over
cooked veges: any steamed green, or even cooked carrots and potatoes; also turnips, beets, etc. Add
grated cheese, raisins, nuts, to give more variety of flavor, nutrients, and body.
Combination marinated salads: grated fresh zucchini with chard (nice and creamy); cooked greens with
raw grated carrots, etc.
For more information visit http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch26.html