Selection and storage
Photo courtesy: mlinksva
Sunchokes are commonly found in US markets year-round. Farm fresh produce hits the markets from October and can last through winter and spring. In stores, buy tubers with a smooth surface because they are less difficult to prepare. Look for medium-sized, clean, firm tubers. Avoid any sprouted, diseased, or bruised roots.
Once at home, store them in a refrigerator set at 33 to 35 degrees F, and at very high relative humidity.
Methods of preparation and delivery
Wash the tubers thoroughly in cold water with a gentle scrub. Although the peel is good to eat, it is discarded with a vegetable-peeler. Root artichokes are high in iron content, and the cut ends turn brown quickly when exposed to air, as in apple. To avoid this, drop the pieces into a bowl of cold acidulated (lemon) water.
Jerusalem artichokes are one of the most versatile vegetables. Tubers can be used in a variety of ways in cooking. They can be eaten raw like parsnips in salads or boiled and mashed, roasted, or sauteed like potatoes. Do not overcook, as they quickly become soft and mushy.
Here are some delivery tips:
|Fava greens with radishes, almonds, and sunchokes.
Photo courtesy: benetaro
|Cold sunchoke soup.
Photo courtesy: Arnold Gatilao
The finely julienned tuber can be a great addition to salads or slaws.
Deep-fry thin slices of it in vegetable oil (like potato chips) to prepare chips.
Boiled sunchoke can be pureed, and can be used as a dip or in fillings for pancakes.
It perfectly complements other tubers such as a potato in a variety of mouth-watering stews and soups. Roasted sunchokes are eaten as a side dish with turkey, lamb, etc.
Jerusalem artichoke contains inert carbohydrates in the form of inulin. Inulin is not digested in the intestine and is passed as in the stool. Sometimes, it can cause indigestion problems, especially in those new to using them in food. Eating a lot of roughage can cause gaseous distension and severe abdominal pain. (Medical disclaimer).
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