Monday, January 18, 2010


January's first share of organic produce, I received these brown knobby roots that I had never seen before. After reviewing Annie's weekly email, I decided they must be the Sunchokes aka Jerusalem Artichokes. I did some research and found out that they are not at all related to the artichoke family. They are actually related to the daisy and sunflower family. (wow, totally unexpected because of their name). Sunchokes taste like a yukon potato with some sweetness. They are quite delicious. I wanted to try a recipe that was simple, so I would able to truly be able to taste their true flavor.

Sunchoke Gratin Recipe
Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

This simple sunchoke gratin with Parmesan cheese is simple and easy. Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) are quite healthy and a good potato substitute.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

•About a 1 pound sunchokes(Jerusalem artichokes)
•Pinch of Salt
•Small baking dish
•1 tablespoon of butter
•Fresh-ground black pepper
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Spray Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the sunchokes and drop them in salted, boiling water. Cook them until they feel tender, but not mushy when prodded with a fork. About 10 minutes, check them frequently because they do go from very firm to very soft quickly.

Drain when tender, and as soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/2 to a 1/4 inch slices.

Smear the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil, then place the sunchoke slices in it, arranging them so they overlap slightly, roof tile fashion. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the grated Parmesan, dot with butter and place the dish in the preheated oven. Bake until a light golden crust begins to form on top. Allow to settle for a few minutes out of the oven before serving.

Serves 4 as a side

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