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Meet the Sunchoke

S Caron By

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I recently wrote about the daikon radish, introducing this off-the-beaten-path veggie that I adore. Well, Tablespoon's Facebook fan page lit up with comments from others who know this radish and love it like I do. It was awesome.



So, I am wondering: have you heard of the sunchoke (aka the Jerusalem artichoke)? This root vegetable looks like a cross between a potato and a ginger root. It can be a little hard to find - most local grocery stores where I live don't carry it, but Whole Foods does. And a friend informs me that backyard gardeners should avoid it since it's more invasive than mint (and that is saying a lot!).

Although I heard about sunchokes a few years ago, I only recently saw and tried them for the first time. In their raw form (yes, they can be eaten raw), they have a crispy, crunchy texture sort of like a water chestnut or a raw red radish. The flavor, when raw, is minimal - bland even.



When cooked, sunchokes take on this delightful creamy texture and a flavor that's a cross between a red potato and an artichoke heart. It's really wonderful. I tried these for the first time this week, using a technique that works for most veggies: roasting. My Easy Roasted Sunchokes.

I hunted around on Tablespoon, and there is one other recipe for these uncommon root vegetables. Sunchoke and Spinach Salad is a chopped salad with a tangy yogurt-based dressing. It sounds pretty good.

Sunchokes are definitely something I will be eating again. I hear they are good in a stir-fry, so I might have to try that next time.

Have you had sunchokes before? What's your take on them?

Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger. Find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.
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