Sunday at the farmers market: Jerusalem Artichokes

Sunday mornings (or afternoons, depending on my Saturday night activities) usually bring me to the Ballard Farmer’s Market.  A happy place.  The colors, smells and sounds of the market make my heart flutter with contentment.  The produce is abundant and the colors naturally vibrant, not to mention still a little dirty from the earth.  Walking through this Sunday, I stumbled upon signs for Jerusalem Artichokes and Sunchokes.  It’s a bit of a trick – neither originate from the artichoke family, but rather the sunflower!  They taste like a rich buttery sunflower, but have the texture of a softer potato.  Many swank Seattle restaurants use them in purees, a delicious preparation that makes them even more velvety.  This Sunday I kept it simple and decided to roast them with a little olive oil.  The outcome was quite tasty indeed! 
P.S. No need to peel.

2 lbs Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes, washed well and cut into bite sized pieces
2 tblspoons olive oil
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425*, after you’ve scrubbed and cubed the little morsels, toss with olive oil, salt/pepper.  Roast for 45-50 minutes on a cookie sheet with lots roasting room for the veggies, stirring occasionally, about every 20 minutes.  The inner ‘meat’ of the ‘choke will become soft like a sweet potato but hold it’s shape.

Add to salads, have along side steak or eat straight from the pan! 


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