Name That Tuber

  

So what is this mysterious tuber that you found in this month’s veggie bags?!? I suppose the suspense has gone on long enough and I should introduce you to the tuber known as Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke. Here on the farm, we are not particularly crazy about these names, as the tuber bears no resemblance whatsoever to an artichoke. The tubers grow in the root system of a sunflower plant native to North America, so one name we are considering is sunflower tuber. Another, slightly less unwieldy option, would be suntuber. Or for the more romantically inclined, sungem. Any suggestions from your part??

Whatever their name, we have been enjoying these tubers raw, either on their own or dipped in a thick soup. They have a juicy, crisp texture and a slightly nutty flavour. However, some authors claim that they cause digestive troubles eaten raw. If you find this is the case for you, they can also be eaten roasted for a long period in a low oven (in which case the flesh apparently turns quite black), pan-fried, or added to a soup. It is best to avoid peeling them; just give them a good scrub. Some sources also recommend tossing them with an acidic dressing if you plan to use them in a salad or soaking them in 4 cups cold water mixed with 1 Tbsp vinegar if you are cutting them ahead of cooking time.

If you find any favourite way of preparing them, do let us know! We did not actually grow these ones; they are another gift from Rachelle of Prairie Garden Seeds. But if you enjoy them, we may add them to our repertoire.

Other veggies this month include potatoes (both Belgian and Norland), carrots, beets, rutabaga, parsnips, squash, and onions. These will likely be the last squash and onions of the season; there may be a few more parsnips in your January orders.

Bon appetit!

2 thoughts on “Name That Tuber

  1. Super Yuumy!!! I made this recipe:

    Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes With Aged Balsamic
    These knobby-looking tubers (a.k.a. sunchokes) are sweet and nutty when browned. Balsamic vinegar smacks some sass into them.

    Ingredients
    SERVINGS: 8
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 pounds small Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed, quartered
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 sprigs rosemary
    ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

    Preparation
    Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (you’ll need a lid), over medium-high heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and ¼ cup water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until Jerusalem artichokes are fork tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook until water evaporates and artichokes start to crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove artichokes to a platter. Add butter and rosemary to the skillet, stirring occasionally until butter foams up and then browns. Remove skillet from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. Pour over artichokes.

    The insides of the artichokes were very soft and creamy, with that nutty flavour. Really enjoyed them!

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