Saturday, November 24, 2012


I missed the boat last year on my sunchoke harvest. I wasn't going to let that happen a second year in a row. Since I was making a butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving dinner and used it as the perfect opportunity to serve them as a garnish.

I headed out with my favorite spading tool to hunt for sunchokes. I just cut them back since they were looking ratty. Imagine what a sunflower would look like at this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Not pretty at all.

Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes, are in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). They are not from Jerusalem--native to Eastern North America--nor are they artichokes. They grow from corm-like tubers. I've had them in purees and fried like potato chips.

I spotted a small tuber most likely partially dug up by a squirrel next to Cerinthe seedlings. I started digging around cringing at the crunching sounds underneath my spade.
 Whoa! Who knew they got this big?! My next thought was, "Great. Now I have to wash this thing."

Here they are in my sink. Mostly clean. Pretty knarly looking! I hope they taste better than they look. I peeled them into a more round shape, smoothing out the knobs. I used a vegetable peeler as well to make the slices for frying. I sliced them to about 1/8". Thin enough to see through them.

My fry station. I think my culinary expert husband Eldon would be impressed. Yes, the baking soda made it out in time, too! I was waiting for the thermometer to reach 375 F.

Sunchoke frying up in canola oil. Bubbles!

The oil was too hot. This batch was tossed. Note baking soda for grease fire which was not needed.

 Ah...golden brown frying perfection!
I'm hoping my cousin took pictures of the served up soup. I was too busy eating and talking sunchokes to get my camera out! Oh, and taking pictures of their lovely cat Evie (short for Evelyn).

 Yum! Happy Thanksgiving!


jamesd said...

Thanks for writing about your sunchokes. 3rd year, how are they doing?

jamesd said...

Thanks for writing about your sunchokes. 3rd year, how are they doing?