Consider the Sunchoke.

I have a new favorite tuber, guys. I encountered a man at the farmer’s market last week who had nothing at his stand but a huge heap of ugly little ginger-root-looking things, which he informed me were sunchokes. I sampled one of the roasted pieces he offered and was immediately in love.

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The humble sunchoke.

For those who have not had sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), they are a low-starch, high-fiber root that comes from a variety of sunflower. They’re apparently very easy to grow, so I might start some in my garden. Raw, they’re kind of like a water chestnut crossed with a potato. Roasted, they become lightly sweet and chewy around the edges and completely amazing.

I used the half pound I bought at the farmer’s market for dinner the other night. I sliced the sunchokes thinly, then roasted them with cauliflower, onion, minced garlic, olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and a little cayenne. (About 25-30 minutes at 425.) We ate them alongside some sliced seitan, doused in bbq sauce and browned in a skillet.

(A side note about the seitan: this was my second attempt at homemaking it, and it definitely came out better than the first attempt – no chewiness at all. I used this recipe which simmers it instead of baking it. The only change I would make would be to use less soy sauce; even using low sodium soy sauce, I thought it was a bit too salty. Colin raved about the seitan, but insists on calling it “space meatloaf.”)

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I thought I’d have to wait until Thursday to get more from the farmer’s market, but yesterday at the natural foods grocery store I found a heap of sunchokes, so I bought, like, three pounds. When I woke up this morning and saw Sarah’s post, I decided to use them in a hash. I also used brussels sprouts, shaved sweet potato (leftover from a failed attempt at making sweet potato chips, which I only attempted because I had lots of leftover sweet potatoes from a failed attempt at making sweet potato noodles), and onion, topped with a poached egg and hot sauce.

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If you are not yet a consumer of sunchokes, I exhort you: buy them! Roast them! Eat them!

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