Farmer Lee Jones—Rach’s “favorite veg head in a bib and a bow tie”—and his team at The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, grow the most beautiful Jerusalem artichokes, which are part of the sunflower family and also called sunchokes. The white flesh is nutty, sweet and crunchy—like chestnuts—when raw. Grated or thinly sliced, they add nice texture to salads.
And much like potatoes, they can be cooked many different ways, including baked. When you bake them in their skins, they become more like potatoes, with a mild taste of artichoke hearts. Of course, they’re great in soups, too, including this pureed soup by Rach. Here, they are boiled, smashed and fried, resulting in an oh-so-good side dish with lots of crispy bits and a soft, creamy interior. The inspiration for the recipe came from chef Gavin Kaysen, who does the same thing with small potatoes.
Pro Tips from Lee: You can store Jerusalem artichokes in the fridge in a plastic bag for 7 to 14 days, but they do not freeze well. Before using, rinse them and then trim any dark spots.
For more recipes from The Culinary Vegetable Institute, check out their Old-School Creamed Spinach and Shaved Radish Salad with Soft-Poached Egg Yolk.