I’m sure discovery will be a common theme throughout my blog posts for a while. Reason being, as many of you already know, I just moved to Portland, Oregon! And much to my excitement, Portland is overflowing with interesting, new food, drinks, restaurants, bars, etc just waiting to be found. This, combined with the inventive food truck scene here, leads me to conclude that Portland is truly a food lover’s mecca.
This past week, as I was shopping at our neighborhood food co-op, I found myself completely blown away by the discovery of several odd fruits and vegetables. As I walked through it’s aisles, I spotted ten different kinds of sprouts, romanesco cauliflower, purple carrots, and the list goes on and on. One root vegetable that caught my eye in particular during that trip was the sunchoke. I had never tasted sunchokes before and was intrigued by its similar shape to ginger: tan little bulbs, many with finger-like shoots springing out from them, as if they were beckoning me to take them home.
But don’t be fooled by the exterior. These little gems actually have a flavor that resembles artichoke hearts! This discovery made me exceedingly happy because I tend to try to steal (and he’s usually kind enough to let me) the artichoke hearts from my husband whenever we eat them. I can’t help it, I think they are divine. Now that I know I can get my artichoke flavor fill from sunchokes, however, I’ll probably let him eat his very own artichoke hearts from now on. I know, I’m so selfless 😉
While I’m sure there are many things I will learn to do with sunchokes, I decided to cook them like mashed potatoes: boiled, pureéd, and then drizzled with rich truffle oil. This dish is the perfect accompaniment to any main dish or it can also stand alone, as the main feature. So give them a try if you haven’t already! You’ll thank me for making this discovery for you, I’m sure of it.
PS: Clearly, my dog, Bourré, agrees with my opinion on sunchokes. Head to his page to see more of Bourré’s own kitchen discoveries.
Truffled Sunchoke Purée
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 lbs of sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- white truffle oil, to taste
- chives (optional)
Boil water in a large saucepan. The water should be just enough to cover all of your sunchokes once you’ve submerged them.
Peel sunchokes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Once water is boiling, add the sunchokes along with salt to the saucepan and allow to boil until soft (about 12 minutes).
Remove from the saucepan and drain excess water. Add the cooked sunchokes to a food processer along with 1 tablespoon of butter and purée until smooth. They should have a texture somewhere in between grits and mashed potatoes. Return to saucepan and stir in truffle oil. Garnish with chopped chives (optional) and serve.
Don’t let the sunchokes sit too long without their peel before putting them into a pot of boiling water. If you need to step away from them mid-peel, submerge them in a bowl of cool water so they won’t brown.
For a vegan version of this dish, simply substitute smart balance in lieu of butter.
Truffle oil is expensive, I know! If you don’t have any, don’t skip out on this recipe. Sunchokes are divine even without the truffle oil.
This can be made a few hours in advance. Simply leave the finished sunchoke dish at room temperature for up to 2 hours or refrigerate until ready to serve.