While it seems like the sunchoke may be a cousin to the artichoke—it also goes by the name “Jerusalem artichoke”—it is actually a sunflower with a brown-skinned tuber resembling ginger root. Sunchokes are native to eastern North America and available year-round, but they are at their best from October to March. Raw or cooked, sunchokes have a sweet, nutty flavor and a good nutrition profile—they contain vitamin C and iron, among other nutrients. Sunchokes are beginning to shine on menus in a variety of applications—as a pureè, roasted for a side dish and as the main ingredient in a rich, warming soup.
The Blue Collar
Roasted Sunchokes with Honey; $5
Maple Braised Pork Risotto with roasted squash, sunchoke puree, chestnuts and sage; Appetizer available through prix-fixe menu priced at $29.95
Poularde á la Chevalière: truffled chicken, veal terrine, sunchoke, fig, lardon, hericot vert, summer truffle; $29
New York City
Grilled Prime Creekstone Hanger Steak with sunchoke creamed spinach, hen of the woods, red shallot puree and natural jus; $32
Cook’s Country Restaurant
Los Angeles, Ca.
Sunchoke, spinach & walnut soup with walnut oil; $8