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.

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.

By Melissa Breyer, Care2 Green Living Senior Editor


Sue H
Sue Habout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

JL A6 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A7 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton7 years ago

Sounds delicious! Thanks for posting.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 7 years ago

The recipe sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton7 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Michelle Cryder
Michelle Cryder11 years ago

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

Sabrina Van Der Horst

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.

Lindsay O.
Lindsay O.11 years ago

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??

Charles Waite
Charles Waite11 years ago

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.