Jerusalem Artichoke, a Root Vegetable with Magnificent Flowers
You may have never tasted it, but you have probably already admired its beautiful yellow flowers that look like daisies or large rudbeckia (black-eyed susans). It is found in the wild, around old abandoned farms, along ditches and fields.
This hardy plant, which was once highly valued for its tubers, tastes a bit like artichoke. However, the potato gradually overshadowed the Jerusalem artichoke and this vegetable was eventually relegated to being cattle feed.
It is now being rediscovered due to its exquisite taste as well as its nutritional properties: It is rich in fibres and inulin and does not have an effect on glycemia, unlike potatoes, which contain starch. This makes it the perfect product for diabetics and people with constipation.
Always choose small and firm tubers, with an intact skin. They can be preserved for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Try some easy recipes with Jerusalem artichoke:
Jerusalem Artichoke and Potato Soup
Sunchoke and Kale Sauté
This recipe combines crispy sunchokes, silky mushrooms, tender kale, and chewy spelt. The result is a tasty salad than can be served as side dish or on its own as a meatless entrée.
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on October 26, 2013.