Here in NYC, there’s a glorious bounty of knobby and wild-looking root vegetables to choose from all winter long. Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) are one of our favorites. These small, little nuggets are the roots of a species of sunflower, and are native to North America. It doesn’t get much more local than that!
And just to clarify – they are neither related to artichokes, nor at all tied to Jerusalem, but some say their sweet, crunchy and nutty flesh taste like artichokes.
Food52 says, “It’s a bit of a stretch, but Jerusalem artichoke seems to have been an English corruption of the Italian girasole articiocco, or “sunflower artichoke.” They can be pickled, eaten raw (try slicing them in a salad and sprinkling them with lemon juice) or roasted or boiled with a pinch of salt and olive oil. Nutritionally, they’re rich in potassium, iron, and fiber.
Amplify their nutty, creamy flavor by cooking them with hazelnuts, ala Food52’s Roasted Sunchokes with Hazelnut Gremolata.