Helianthus tuberosus, more commonly known as Jerusalem artichoke or Sunchoke, is a native herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae family.
Photo credit: Clarence A. Rechenthin @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
Courtesy of USDA NRCS Texas State Office. United States, TX, Knox City
|Photo credit: Tom Barnes, University of Kentucky, with permission.|
|Harvested Sunchoke tubers scrubbed clean.|
Recipe for Rosemary-Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes (adapted from 150 Vegan Favorites by Jay Solomon)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
.75 lb Jerusalem artichokes (Sunchokes)
¼ tsp paprika
⅛ tsp ground pepper
Scrub and peel sunchokes, then cut into 1” sections. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, tossing to coat sunchokes. Spread out on small baking sheet, bake 30 minutes or until tender.
I found these to make a nice side dish. The roasted sunchokes are silkier in texture and sweeter in flavor than found in roasted potato.
A cautionary note for eating this delicacy: sunchokes contain inulin. Some people find this naturally occurring carbohydrate difficult to digest. Research has found that over time the inulin is converted to easier-to-digest fructose if the tubers are stored first (in the fridge or ground) before cooking and eating.
Interested in growing this native in your garden? Plant tubers this month, no later than March, 18” apart, 6” deep. Many plants will grow from each tuber. A cautionary note for planting this native: this plant is rather easy to grow, and practically grows itself. Once it is established, it is difficult to eradicate--although with its many uses, including colorful aesthetics, pollen for bees, seeds for birds and food for the dinner table, I’m not sure why you would want to!