If you haven’t encountered Jerusalem artichokes on a dinner menu or in the grocery store, I recommend that you seek them out! Often mistaken for nubby ginger, they are in fact the root of a sunflower plant native to North America, and are often prepared in similar fashion to potatoes. These underground treasures have a subtle nutty flavor and yes, taste just a little bit like an artichoke. Use simple cooking methods and complimentary aromatics that will allow their delicate and unusual flavor to come through. Crunchy and sweet, you can also enjoy them raw. Shave them into a salad, or dice up and toss them into a stir-fry. An added bonus: sunchokes are packed with vitamins and minerals for good health!
This recipe uses the 2-part braising method: first, brown the sunchokes to draw out the sweetness and form a nice brown crust. Then, add some liquid and aromatics, and let them simmer until tender. Easy and delish!
1- 1 ¼ pounds Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed clean of dirt
2 TB olive oil
½ cup low sodium chicken broth, or water
2 bay leaves, fresh if you can find them
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Freshly ground pepper
Cut the cleaned sunchokes in half. If you have very small ones, you can leave them whole.
Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in large sauté pan on medium high. When hot, place the sunchokes in the pan, cut side down. Let them brown for 8-10 minutes.
When browned, turn the sunchokes so the browned sides are facing up. Add ½ cup broth or water, the garlic and the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for another 10 minutes, checking every now and then to make sure that there is still liquid in the pan.
Then remove the lid, turn the heat up to high and gently shake the pan back and forth for about 5 minutes, until all of the liquid is evaporated and the sunchokes are tender but not mushy. Taste, season with more salt and pepper if desired, and serve.