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another new root vegetable

sunflower sunchoke

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are bumpy, tan-skinned root vegetable that resembles ginger root but is actually a variety of sunflower root. You can find sunchokes sold in bulk at some grocery stores or in a one-pound package from “Melissa’s” produce called Sunflower chokes. Sunchokes have a sweet nutty flavor similar to potato or jicama. Serve sunchokes raw in salads or a crudités platter, sautéed, steamed, or boiled as you would potatoes and then mashed. When purchasing sunchokes, select chokes that are firm, and avoid any that are soft or wrinkled.

sunchoke roots

I served my sunchoke puree with a piece of seared salmon and a little salad of cocktail tomatoes and olives in a blood orange-fresh oregano vinaigrette.

Sunchoke Puree

1 pound peeled sunchokes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Simmer sunchokes in chicken stock over medium heat until tender about 10 minutes. Add cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, watching closely so that the liquid doesn’t boil over.

Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer sunchokes to a food processor or blender. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. The liquid will be tan and very thick. And 2 tablespoons of the reduction to the food processor and puree until smooth, adding a little more of the liquid, if needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4

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