Artichokes are a pain in the ass. One has to do a lot of digging to get to the tastiest bit, the heart, which is hidden under a mountain of thorny leaves. And once it is uncovered, there is not enough to go around. LAME.
That’s why I was ecstatic to discover Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem Artichokes. They are a brown knobby root vegetable that look like ginger root but taste EXACTLY like artichoke hearts. These tasty roots provide a shortcut from the laborious task of dealing with artichokes themselves.
Sunchokes are starchy like a potato, but can be thinly sliced and eaten raw. Something you definitely don’t want to do with potatoes. Ick. But the flavor is the kicker. Their white flesh is nutty, lemony and rich. It doesn’t take much to get them to the table. They are just that delicious.
Despite how low maintenance they are to grow and cook, they are not often carried in many supermarkets. Here in Southern California, I pick them up year round at a Persian market in Irvine. Since they tend to be a rare find, the next time you see some, buy them immediately and enjoy their simplicity. Don’t be ashamed, because you may end up eating them all yourself.
Mashed Sunchokes with Thyme Recipe
1 lb sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt (optional, but lovely)
Cover sunchokes with cold water with a pinch of salt in a deep sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, just as you would for mashed potatoes. About 7-10m. Drain.
Put sunchokes back in hot pot, and add in thyme, butter, yogurt if you got it and a good pinch of salt. Mash! That’s pretty much it. And you thought it was going to be complicated.