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Roasted Lemon Sunchokes

Roasted Lemon Sunchokes

In my neck of the woods, the Northeastern United States, we are still finding the greenmarket filled with potatoes and apples. So I was very happy to see one of my all-time favorite tubers pop up last weekend: The knobby little sunchoke. Sunchokes are their sweetest in the spring, and this simple recipe is a lovely way to showcase these little darlings.

Native to North America, sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes (although not from Jerusalem and not artichokes), were first cultivated by the Native Americans who called them sun roots. Sunchokes are a tuber, an underground stem, of a bright yellow flower that is related to the sunflower.

Sunchokes look like small, knobby potatoes, but they have a very unique flavor—sweet and nutty, reminiscent of an artichoke heart. An interesting nutritional fact about sunchokes is that 75 to 80 percent of their carbohydrate content is in the form of inulin (not insulin!) rather than starch. This mean that the sugars break down into sucrose, not glucose, which might be of interest to those with concerns about sugar levels. Inulin is also a prebiotic, which can improve digestion and enhance immunity.

Look for clean, firm tubers that do not have a greenish tinge or any sign of sprouting or mold. Some people peel them, but this can be rather tedious, you lose a lot of the tuber, and it reduces the nutritive value. Give them a good scrub and you’re ready to roast. In this recipe, I toss in lemon wedges to roast too—they get caramelized around the edges and give the finished dish some visual texture.

INGREDIENTS
1 pound sunchokes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, preferably organic and unwaxed, scrubbed and cut into sixths
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh thyme or rosemary for optional garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Toss sunchokes with oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon wedges onto sunchokes and then toss the wedges into the mix and stir.

Put on a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan and cook until golden and starting to brown, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size.

Place in a serving dish and scatter a handful of herbs on top, if using.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Side Dishes

By Melissa Breyer, Care2 Green Living Senior Editor

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

18 comments

+ add your own
10:30AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

yum

7:34AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

yum

12:42PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Sounds delicious! Thanks for posting.

4:41AM PST on Feb 18, 2012

The recipe sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

8:29AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

Thanks for posting.

3:43PM PDT on Apr 18, 2008

Got some in the oven now! They don't seem to be cooking very fast though, hm.

2:11PM PDT on Apr 11, 2008

Sunchokes, Jaruzalem artichokes... Hahaha... No wonder people get confussed... We in Holland call them earthpeares (aard-peren) and there are not a lot of folk who know about them! :-S Never tasted one myself; i haven't found any yet... I only just found out what they're called in Dutch. About a year ago now.

10:59AM PDT on Apr 11, 2008

i live in texas and ive noticed them before but never knew what they were. for the recipe should they be sliced or anything before you roast them??

7:53AM PDT on Apr 11, 2008

Toni W.
I live in Newburgh,N.Y. & I grow them in my snall garden; they get about ten feet tall & have beautiful yellow flowers down the stem. If you plan on putting them in your garden, give them room to spread, as any roots left in the ground will come up the next year. I like that feature, as you don't have to replant them every year. I use them raw in salads & happy to find other receipes on Care 2. Looking forward to more receipes for this veg. We call them Jerusalem artichokes here & you can buy them in some supermarkets.

7:51AM PDT on Apr 11, 2008

Toni W.
I live in Newburgh,N.Y. & I grow them in my snall garden; they get about ten feet tall & have beautiful yellow flowers down the stem. If you plan on putting them in your garden, give them room to spread, as any roots left in the ground will come up the next year. I like that feature, as you don't have to replant them every year. I use them raw in salads & happy to find other receipes on Care 2. Looking forward to more receipes for this veg. We call them Jerusalem artichokes here & you can buy them in some supermarkets.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Why go outside and get cold? Smart raccoon!

I can't believe that anyone would study something that is so obvious.

Last time I made a resolution I was in grade school.

Relaxing indeed. Thanx for sharing ;0)

we send ours to our haz mat program

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