I got some sunchokes at the Greenmarket on Saturday and while I love their crisp texture, I’m always a bit stumped as to what to do with them. Sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes) are the root tubers that grow on a certain species of sunflower. They look a bit like knobby ginger but have a slightly sweet nutty flavor and crisp texture of jicama or water-chestnuts.
If they’re young and fresh, you can either cook them or eat them raw. If they’re older, they tend to get a little starchy so they’re best cooked. I lucked out and found some beautiful young’uns with smooth delicate skin on Saturday, so I decided to go with a raw preparation.
The dressing adds a nice richness that compliments the nuttiness of the sunchokes and walnuts while the mint pulls it back a bit keeping it relatively light and refreshing.
4 small sunchokes peeled and sliced
1-2 Tbs candied walnuts crumbled
4-6 mint leaves sliced into thin ribbons
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 Tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano shaved with a vegetable peeler
To make the dressing, melt the butter with lemon juice in the microwave until the butter is just melted. Whisk to combine and add the salt and pepper.
Toss the sunchokes, walnuts and mint with the dressing and top with Pecorino Romano. Serve immediately.