Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Jan

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Chives

sunchokeswithcivesNow here’s a vegetable that doesn’t have it easy. The Jerusalem artichoke is neither an artichoke nor is it from Jerusalem. It’s no beauty either; the knobby, brown exterior doesn’t exactly whet the appetite. Perhaps worst of all, however, is its reputation for causing a bit of, well, there’s really no delicate way to say this… gas.

So why do Jerusalem Artichokes have a devoted foodie fan base? A unique but delicate flavor, for starters. Secondly, it’s a vegetable that’s really easy to cook in a variety of ways. Last but definitely not least, we appreciate this low-starch tuber for its prebiotic fiber and think that in moderation it can add healthy variety to your diet.

To make this veggie more accessible, let’s start with the confusing name. There are many theories why it’s called a Jerusalem artichoke, perhaps the most believable one being that it’s part of the sunflower family and the Italian name for sunflower is “girasole.” Over time, English speakers’ mispronunciation of “girasole” turned into “Jerusalem” and the name stuck. As for the artichoke part, this veggie isn’t at all related to the artichoke, but the two vegetables do share a similar flavor, hence the name “Jerusalem artichoke.” More and more, however, growers and chefs have ditched this strange name altogether and call the vegetable a sunchoke instead. It’s likely that your grocery store or farmers’ market does the same.

The sunchoke (formerly known as the Jerusalem artichoke) may be brown and knobby, but the taste makes up for its homeliness. Sweet and nutty, the flavor reminds us of a potato, artichoke and water chestnut rolled into one. Once cooked, the knobby tuber transforms into an appealing dish, especially when garnished with bright green herbs.

sunchokes

As we said before, cooking a sunchoke doesn’t require much effort. Boiled, steamed, roasted or eaten raw, you’ll undoubtedly love the flavor. Any one of these variations is worth trying:

Sunchoke Soup: Sauté peeled and sliced sunchokes in butter, simmer in stock until soft and then puree in the blender (add a little heavy cream if you like).

Sunchoke Mash: Steam or broil peeled sunchokes then mash with butter and salt.

Sunchoke Chips: Slice peeled or unpeeled sunchokes very thin and coat with oil and a light sprinkle of salt. Bake in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes or until browned. Or, fry the thin slices in hot oil, then sprinkle with salt.

Sunchoke Salad: Grate or slice peeled sunchokes as a garnish in a salad

Roasted Sunchokes: Our favorite dish, especially when garnished with chives. The edges of the sunchokes get crispy and caramelized, which brings out the sweet, nutty flavor. The flesh becomes smooth and buttery and the chives add just the right amount of color and flavor.

Ingredients

ingredients 2

4 servings

  • 2 pounds sunchokes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chives
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Much like potatoes, the skin on sunchokes can be scrubbed clean and left on or it can be easily peeled off with a paring knife. For this recipe, we peeled half of the sunchokes and left the skin on half of them.

peeledandunpeeled

Cut the sunchokes into evenly sized wedges. Drizzle olive oil or melted butter on top.

Roast for 30 minutes (or more if needed) until soft and nicely browned.

Remove from oven and season with chives and sea salt.

Oh, and about that gassy thing… like many things in life, sunchokes are best enjoyed in moderation. Take our word for it; despite the great flavor, serving sunchokes in small portions is wise.

sunchokeswithcives

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My grandfather used to grow them in his vegetable garden. I think we just ate them sliced raw. I never see them in the grocery stores in my area.

    lynna wrote on January 29th, 2011
  2. I’ve never even seen these! But, now I really really want to try them. We’ve gotten into the groove of trying at least one new veggie a week. Our food range has truly opened up. Time to go hunting!

    Poppabear wrote on January 29th, 2011
  3. I love JA’s roasted in duck fat, but after just one I emit a lot of greenhouse gases!

    Nigel Kinbrum wrote on January 29th, 2011
  4. Those things will make you fart like a rhinoceros.

    rob wrote on January 29th, 2011
  5. I LOVE sunchokes. So glad to see the recipes posted on here =)

    Sarah Due wrote on January 29th, 2011
  6. I have always preferred them raw and sliced to cooked and mashed but there are some cooking methods here I haven’t tried.

    They are easy to grow but watch out, they spread easily. I used to grow them behind the garage, next to the alley in New Mexico.

    You can also find them growing wild. Tall plants with yellow daisy like flowers. I’m sure you could look them up on the internet to see what they look like and where they grow wild.

    Never noticed the gas thing but come to think of it I have only eaten them in small quantities.

    By the way…off subject….I just saw a prominent article about Gary Taubes’s new book, featured in the current Readers Digest. It didn’t say where the article originally was published. At least I couldn’t find the reference.

    Sharon wrote on January 29th, 2011
  7. I tried these a couple of years ago and they’re nice but I really didn’t enjoy the bloated, painful stomach afterward. I guess they affect people differently.

    Indiscreet wrote on January 29th, 2011
    • Yes, the same exact thing happened to me about a year ago. My college has an organic garden club and grew these and then had them cooked in a dining hall one day. I must have devoured at least a dozen of these (so good with garlic).

      I later found out that they contain a very very high amount of inulin (NOT insulin), which is a type of starch that is hard to break down except in the intestine (hence why you and I were extremely gassy and in pain for a while after eating them).

      Kyle wrote on January 29th, 2011
  8. Sounds delicious, but odds are that I would get a lot of funny looks if I asked for this at my local grocery store.

    Trey Crowe wrote on January 29th, 2011
  9. Don’t plant these in your regular veggie garden – they will quickly take over, and short of removing all the soil, they’re impossible to get rid of because they will sprout again from a fraction of a root or tuber.

    They are delicious in soup though!

    Sarah wrote on January 29th, 2011
  10. Ahh, Jerusalem Fartichokes.

    Great recipes….you reminded me to pick some up at the store.

    toot toot!

    Ross wrote on January 29th, 2011
    • Fartichokes… bahaha…

      Sarah Due wrote on January 31st, 2011
  11. There is a great recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Chicken Soup at:

    http://www.harvestingnaturesbounty.com/

    Kevin Duffy wrote on January 31st, 2011
  12. Question: is it stinky gas or bloaty gas? That is, will you end up being so foul that you give a pulp mill a run for its money, or will you be curled up in a painful bloated ball until it goes away?

    I’m not a fan of gas pain, but I’m willing to dare epic farts, since the one time I had some I liked them (didn’t have noticeable gas that time).

    Rana wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • For me, it is both kinds. I feel horrible from being bloated, and the gas STINKS. I made these last night, ate them about 15 hours ago and I am STILL farting. It is a little bit amusing, but quite uncomfortable. Ugh, never again will I eat these things. At least they tasted really good!

      Amanda wrote on February 22nd, 2011
  13. I don’t seem to handle sunchokes well at all. Not much flatulence, but my digestion was not happy with me! After researching this a bit, I suspect I don’t handle high-inulin foods in general. Chicory root is even worse. My digestion is much better since I went Primal (it was especially bad when I was vegetarian, as I’m very sensitive to gluten and soy), but I wonder if this inulin thing accounts for the problems I still occasionally have.

    Richard wrote on February 7th, 2011
  14. super yummy! loved them all roasted up with fresh ground sea salt and pepper. and yes, i farted a lot! and it was stinky! but it did not make me bloated, there was no pain. good thing the husband and kids ate them too….we were one fartastic clan!

    tracy wrote on March 2nd, 2011
  15. Gosh, we have eaten some in our salads every night for years and never remarked on any gas works after. But I do think that your body adjusts and if you eat lots of veg and no white food(carbs) the gas thing does not seem to be a problem generally.

    Anna wrote on March 21st, 2011
  16. YUM, YUM, YUM…I am a huge fan of Sun Chokes and eat quite a bit of them throughtout the fall and winter season. I grow them in wine barrels (2) and I just harvested my first meal of the season. I scrub my well with a stiff brush and that removes most of the peeling.

    Tonight I sauted some onion and ancho chile (not hot) in olive oil. I sliced the sun chokes into rounds and and added some dill weed and sauted until 90% done. I then added some yellow straightneck squash. I am a happy happy man tonight.

    To reduce gas just cook until well done.

    Gary

    Gary Fulgham wrote on October 10th, 2011
  17. Making a tea of caraway seeds, fennel seeds and catnip really helps move gas right along! I toss the seeds in my mortar and crunch them a few times. The catnip I smoosh just a bit with my fingers. Mix in equal portions in a tea ball. The two seeds help process the gas faster and the catnip eases cramping. Hope this helps!

    Teresa wrote on February 28th, 2012
  18. If Jerusalem Artichokes make you fart like a clydesdale horse, sprinkle a couple of pinches of Asa Foetida over them just before they are finally cooked and stir in. This ought to take the wind out of your sail. Indian vegetarians, well known for eating a lot of beans, have used this for centuries to reduce and avoid flatulence. Ta Hans

    Hans Rudolf Wellinger wrote on September 26th, 2012
  19. We started with these in the 1970s, and developed the habit of serving artichoke soup when we were repaying the dinner date with great 20th century bores. It meant that they could stay, eat and talk a while, then as distension came along, they made excuses and left. You could also serve it to those whom you love, but who never respond to broad hints to LEAVE BECAUSE WE ARE SO TIRED WE CAN’T TALK ANY MORE!!!!
    We’ve grown a load of these this year, and had the first soup of the year. Yum.Tomorrow, roasted And yes, Gary, you are absolutely right, cook until well done. Chew well and eat slowly.
    Cardomum seeds are good against gas too.
    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. But not too much eh?

    Jack Hughes wrote on October 29th, 2012
  20. I don’t see why the name Jerusalem Artichoke is any stranger than Avocado Pear, since the latter is not pear shaped. The problem with renaming things on the basis of logic and rationale is that a lot of history and romance gets lost. “Sunchoke” sounds like an illness where too much sunshine causes you to asphyxiate…
    (While we are on the subject, why does “Eggplant” make more sense than “Aubergine”?

    Brian Williams wrote on March 16th, 2013
    • Oops… I meant to say Avocado pears are not members of the Pear family! Doh!

      Brian Williams wrote on March 16th, 2013
  21. I just finished cooking a pot of fresh collard greens for dinner. If we have Jerusalem artichokes as a side dish, do you think dinner might be a bit dangerous? I’m afraid we might become victims of a misplaced confidence!

    Ma wrote on June 28th, 2013
  22. Just pulled the first of ours and cooking them. I have heard of the painful gas issue and have added Nori and Fennel seed and hopefully they will help. I am also boiling them and will make a mashed version. I know with beans if you do not eat them often you can get gas issues however if you eat them regularly you do adjust. I found this to be true for my family. I am looking forward to adding these little fellas into our regular routine. Thanks for the shared recipe and advice.

    pandora wrote on November 3rd, 2013
  23. Any thoughts on pasta made from the flour of this tuber? DeBoles has made the product for quite awhile. http://www.deboles.com/products/organic-pasta.php. Paleo or not?

    Mike wrote on November 17th, 2013

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