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Harvesting Sunchokes

Several weeks ago I shared about the Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes that we planted last spring. During late summer and early fall the sunchokes had beautiful yellow flowers that resemble sunflowers. The flowers have died back and it is now time for harvesting. The beauty of this vegetable is that you have the ability to harvest only what you need for that day. The remaining sunchokes can stay in the ground all winter long without ruining until you are ready to dig them up. In a world where I'm constantly trying to can, freeze, or preserve food as quickly as possible, that is music to my ears!

Planting, harvesting and even tasting sunchokes was a new treat for us. We were not sure how they would work or if they would even taste good. What a wonderful surprise! They turned out fabulous! Even better, not only are they easy to harvest, they are easy to prepare. Washing them and getting the dirt out of the crevices takes a little bit of time, but nothing crazy. If you use a soft (clean) vegetable brush it makes the task go much quicker. I sliced them thin and roasted them in the oven for about 25 minutes and finished them off under the broiler for about a minute and 1/2. When they were finished they had a beautiful golden color and contained a slight nutty flavor.

The next time you are in the grocery store, try looking for Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes. Because they will already be washed, that task will be done for you. It will be something new to try and they don't take long to make. Here is the way that I prepared them, but there are several recipes that you can use. Look one up and see which one works for you.

Roasted Sunchokes

1lb Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes rinsed and scrubbed well) sliced into thin slices

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 teaspoons Thyme

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix sliced Sunchokes in a bowl with all ingredients, stirring well to coat completely. Pour out onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender. Place under the broiler for one to two minutes until golden brown.

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