If you frequent your local farmers market, you may have seen something that looks a bit like a cross between ginger root and a yam called a Jerusalem artichoke. This tuber, also known as a sunroot, a sunchoke, an earth apple or a topinambour may seem way too complicated to use, if only because of how many names it has! Never fear: This member of the sunflower family, which is neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke, is actually an easy addition to soups and salads and has the added bonus of being in season throughout the fall and most of the winter, which gives you more than enough time to try it out!
What Do They Taste Like?
Jerusalem artichokes have a flavor that has been compared to everything from a potato to a water chestnut. Its relatively bland, though slightly nutty, flavor and starchy texture makes it a great addition to puréed soups in place of potatoes, or sliced in salads and stir fries. Before hiding it behind tons of other flavors, though, take advantage of its uniqueness in recipes that highlight the Jerusalem artichoke itself!
How Do I Use Them?
To prepare a Jerusalem artichoke for cooking, simply peel it as you would a potato. They should be cooked until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size and method of cooking.
- To take advantage of both their unique flavor and texture, roast Jerusalem artichokes. Add other winter root vegetables, like carrots, parsnips and potatoes, for a varied roast vegetable side dish. You could also add Jerusalem artichokes to this roast vegetable medley.
- Jerusalem artichoke's naturally nutty flavor comes out in our creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup.
- To naturally store Jerusalem artichokes all year long, you can also make your own Jerusalem artichoke pickle.
- For a wintry salad filled with flavors and textures, roast thin slices of Jerusalem artichokes and winter squash, then serve over winter greens with a simple vinaigrette.