May is finally gracing us with its presence after this seemingly endless March and April. The May flowers that come from April showers are well worth the wait though. While browsing the choices of our local produce this week, the Jerusalem artichoke stood out to me as the most unique. I had so many questions about this Jerusalem artichoke. Was this a special kind of artichoke from Israel? When looking it up, I was filled with more questions. Some of the pictures that were provided resembled a large piece of ginger, but then other pictures looked like sliced yellow potatoes. I quickly realized that this vegetable is actually not any of these things that I listed.
Surprisingly, Jerusalem artichokes are a root vegetable that belong to the sunflower family. Their origin is in North America, and they carry the same yellow petals that we all recognize as sunflowers. This explains why they are also referred to as sunchokes. Another common and fun name for them is earth apples, and personally I like that one the best. They most likely gained the names like “artichoke” and “apple” because of their delicately sweet yet savory taste. Actually, I have concluded that this vegetable is the master of deceit. It looks like ginger, tastes like an artichoke, but has the texture of a potato. However, unlike a potato, you can enjoy this raw. There are many recipes that include these sliced into salads or for dips.
Since this was my first time working with them, I wanted to try them simply roasted with a couple of other complementary flavors. Even when slicing them raw, you can smell the herb and flower like notes. To emphasize this, I added in some fresh herbs and chunks of garlic that will heat and release oils to flavor the whole dish. This is a great dish for someone who has never tried Jerusalem artichokes before or is just craving a fresh taste!
- 1 lb of kale (curly or tuscan, stems removed)
- 1 lb Jerusalem artichokes (scrubbed, sliced into thirds)
- 3 cloves of garlic (quartered)
- 2 spriggs of fresh thyme or 2 tbsp of dried thyme
- 2 spriggs of fresh rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Wash and dry your kale completely so that the kale can roast properly. Remove the stems and prep the rest of your ingredients.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl add your jerusalem artichokes, garlic, salt, pepper, and a thick drizzle of olive oil. Toss this all together until coated.
- Arrange the jerusalem artichokes and garlic mixture in an even single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet lined. Nuzzle in your fresh herbs or sprinkle your dried herbs at this time. Place in the oven to cook for 25 minutes.
- In the same large bowl that you used before, massage your kale with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Once 25 minutes has passed, pull out the pan with the sunchokes and garlic. Top this off with your massaged kale and place the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the kale has become crispy. Serve immediately as a side dish with your favorite protein entree.