Sunchokes. Have you had them?
There was a book my mom had (one of the few English books in our house when I was little) and it was a mini-encyclopedia of veggies. One of the pages in there that I would read over & over was the page on sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes. Maybe it was because I loved artichokes. Maybe it was because they looked like ginger. Or maybe even, because it had the word "sun" in the name. Whatever the reason was, I was in love with those little veggies even before I tasted my first one.
This is where I'm supposed to tell you about my dreamy experience of eating my first sunchoke. I wish I could. But my memory sucks so much I can't really remember when I had my first one. Probably in California. Probably bought at the farmers market.
I just know that every time I have them, I love the taste. And every time I cook them, I've forgotten how they taste. (they taste like artichoke hearts!)
So when I came across this roasted parsnip & sunchoke recipe in my Practical Paleo book, I knew what to make for dinner.
I adapted the original recipe to make it extra-garlicky, but feel free to leave out the garlic entirely if you're not so partial.
~ Garlic-roasted Parsnips & Sunchokes ~
Serves 2 generous portions, or 4 smaller if you have other side dishes
3 tablespoons herb butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 large parsnip, skin kept intact
3~4 sunchokes, skin kept intact
salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Melt the herb butter in the microwave (30 seconds should do it). Add olive oil and sliced garlic and let stand. If you don't have herb butter, just use regular butter and add a dash of salt & dried or fresh herbs of your choice.
Slice the parsnip and sunchokes into 1/4in-thick pieces about 2 inches long. You want them to look like 2x10 lego blocks. I like to keep the skin on root veggies since there are tons of nutrients right between the skin and flesh, but you can peel them if you like.
Throw the veggie sticks in a large ovenproof dish, toss with the butter/herb/garlic mixture, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30~40 minutes.
Right before you serve, give the veggies another toss, making sure they get re-coated with the butter/oil mixture that's settled at the bottom of the dish. We had this tonight with steak au poivre (pepper steak - I'll post the recipe soon), but any nice protein would do.