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What are sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes?

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What are sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes?
Definition: What are sunchokes? Wondering about those funny little tubers labeled "sunchokes" or "Jerusalem artichokes" at the store? Here's a definition of sunchokes and what you need to know about cooking them.

What are sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes?

Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes, are an edible tuber that grows underground, much like a potato. They look a little bit like large knobs of ginger, and taste slightly nutty, and savory like a cross between an artichoke heart and the best potato you've ever had.

Can you eat the skins?

Though the skins are edible some people find the taste too earthy. Personally, I like the natural taste of the skins as I find it part of the charm of the sunchoke. But those little stringy bits are a bit much. Trim them off, if your sunchokes have any.

How to cook sunchokes

Sunchokes can be steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or even microwaved, much like potatoes.

Boil them in water for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Larger sunchokes will need a bit longer, and, just like potatoes, you can chop them up first to get them to cook a bit quicker. they tend to get a bit mushy when boiled, so steaming them is a better choice.

Unlike potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes can also be eaten raw, and have gained popularity as a salad topper amongst advocates of a raw food diet. Grated or thinly sliced, they add a bit of crunch and texture to a raw green salad, much like jicama.

To grill sunchokes, slice them thin and brush with olive oil. Or, wrap in a foil packet drizzled with oil.

Another option is to roast sunchokes in the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees, drizzle chopped sunchokes with oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until soft and golden brown.

Recipes for sunchokes

  • Oven Roasted Sunchokes
  • Foil-wrapped grilled sunchokes
  • Cheesy Sunchoke Gratin
  • Quinoa and Sunchoke Pilaf Recipe
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