Living in Asia means that I have come across some fun veggies and fruits over time. Buddha's hand is a citrus fruit, that is shaped more like a claw than an actual hand. Dragonfruit is still by far the most beautiful fruit to me. And then there is bitter melon, which has nothing to do with a melon, isn't sweet, and actually works really well in South East Asian curries.
But then I moved to Berkeley, and who knew I could still find something fun and new to me, that I would instantly fall in love with? Introduce the sunchoke or also called Jerusalem artichoke, although it tastes nothing like an artichoke and it also has nothing to do with Jerusalem. Sunchokes come from Northern America, and they look more like a big piece of ginger. The texture is crunchy similar to a radish. The taste is so unique and difficult to describe. Think of a nutty potato with a very earthy flavor. If you can get your hands on them, you just have to try this super simple recipe. I think roasting sunchokes really brings out their flavor and texture, but there is an amazing sunchoke and apple soup recipe in the Vegetable Butcher, that I absolutely adore, too! And if you can't find sunchokes, you can absolutely subsitute potatoes or even sweet potatoes in this recipe.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Makes 1 main serving or 2 side servings:
5 medium sized sunchokes
5 olives, roughly chopped
one big handful pea shoots or other microgreens
1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 extra Tbsp for roasting
1 Tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200°C/ 400°F.
Scrub the sunchokes, and chop them into bite sized pieces. Toss with a Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, and roast on a tray for 30 minutes until softer but still crunchy.
In the meantime, combine the olives, pea shoots, and onions.
Once the sunchokes are done, add them to the salad. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.