Ahh, the humble sunchoke. So homely, knobby, and difficult to peel that people often miss out on the delicate beauty lying beneath it’s rough exterior. Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, aren’t really a type of artichoke at all, but the root of a sunflower, called girasole in Italian. Versatility is their game: they are crunchy and sweet in a salad, but when cooked transform into something magical. Silky, creamy, sweet and nutty — throw these tubers in soups, puree them like potatoes, or roast them… you can’t go wrong. I like their gentle flavor best when paired with carrots and simmered until tender in apple cider that reduces to a golden glaze, making a quick and comforting side dish to just about anything! –Megan B.
cider glazed sunchokes and carrots
serves 4 as a side dish
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled
1/2 lb. sunchokes, peeled (as best you can, just make sure they are clean)
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 c stock or water
1/2 c apple cider (use all cider for a sweeter glaze)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced super-thin
1 tbs butter
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
salt/pepper to taste
Slice carrots into 1/4 inch “coins” on the bias and try to cut the sunchokes as close to the same size as the carrots as you can. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium, add oil and saute, stirring regularly, for about 4 minutes. Add sliced garlic, and saute for about two more, until the garlic begins to become fragrant and turn golden. Add stock and cider, bring to a boil, reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the carrots and sunchokes are cooked, but still firm. Bring back up to medium high heat, add butter and reduce the liquid down to a golden glaze, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.