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Roasted Sunchokes

There’s something in the air right now, and I don’t mean tiny wonderful snowflakes…

Sadly, as much as people who have never been to this part of Canada seem to think, we do not get a lot of snow. In fact, the temperatures here barely ever dip below the freezing point. When they do it wreaks havoc on our sensibilities. Us lucky folk who live on Vancouver Island or the far West coast (Vancouver) have come to rely on our moderate climate. Yes, it rains, yes it rains a lot. But we only on occasion have to dig out the toques, mittens, hats and longjohns and usually only for voluntary outings to majestic mountain skiing resorts.

No, that something in the air is change. It’s the beginning of the new year and that means only one thing to me. Spring is on the way. Once the calendar resets itself, all I can think about is that the days will no get longer and the weather will only get better (though we do tend to see snow, if at all, in January). Even the chickens in the backyard know something is changing, as they have gone from withholding egg production to practically shooting them out their backsides at alarming speed. Someone please send recipes that require the use of 26 eggs, stat!

I’m excited for 2011, though I’m not sure why.

It may have to do with bumbling hazily out of the fog that is raising an infant and a toddler. Soon said infant will be crawling around after her brother, and not nearly as helpless as she has been for the last six months. Don’t get me wrong. I love a baby, especially my own. I love the chubby little hands and thighs, the cooing, the innocence, all that jazz. But I also love being able to do something, anything around the house. Hard to do when the baby you are caring for requires a constant two handed embrace, soothing, changing and the like.

I’m excited for all the things that will happen this year. The babies being born in my family, the weddings we will attend, and hopefully some prospects in writing and photography. This is my year, I can feel it.

I started the new year trying something new with this side dish of roasted sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes). I’ve been meaning to try them for years but have never come across them anywhere. So when I finally found an organic variety at the grocery store the other day (locally raised even!) I was ecstatic. I knew exactly how I wanted to try them. These are an easy introduction to sunchokes if you are not familiar with them as this recipe is as close as you can get to a simple roasted potato recipe. Though sunchokes do not taste quite like potatoes, they do have the same texture. Their flavour is somewhat of a cross between a regular artichoke heart and a very new potato. Delicious! Try it with your next roasted chicken for a perfect pairing.

One Year Ago: Mexican Fiesta Salad

Roasted Sunchokes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1 lb sunchokes, washed
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Macadamia nut oil (or other high heat tolerant oil)
1/2 tsp ground sage
fresh cracked pepper to taste
sea salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Leaving the peel on the sunchokes, slice them into 1 cm thick slices. Like a really thick potato chip.
3. Peel the garlic cloves by laying the flat side of a knife blade on top of them and crushing them slightly. Remove the skin and roughly chop into large chunks.
4. In a large bowl, toss the sliced artichokes with the garlic, oil and seasonings. Pour into single layer in a baking dish.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Artichokes are done when fork soft and slightly browned on the edges. Serve immediately.

Similarly delicious recipes on other blogs:

Sunchokes with a Warm Butter Lemon Dressing on No Recipes
German Sunchoke Salad with Bacon & Scallions on Not Eating Out in New York
Roasted Sunchoke and Mushroom Bisque on Eggs on Sunday
Shaved Sunchoke Salad on What We’re Eating
Potato, Celery Root and Sunchoke Cream with Purple Potato Chips on Canelle et Vanille

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