Sunchokes, also named Jerusalem artichokes, are not artichokes nor are they from Jerusalem. Native to North America, this tuber looks like a cross between a potato and ginger root. It is the root of a tall, perennial sunflower and can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked it has a sweet and nutty artichoke-like flavor; when eaten raw it is crisp and akin to a water chestnut. This vegetable can be a bit finicky to cook, if left unattended, as it changes in texture quickly: one minute it’s firm and the next minute you’ll have a bowl of mush. Fear not! You won’t end up with mushy sunchokes with this recipe, as SousVide Supreme takes the fuss out cooking this delicate tuber and creates fork tender slices within one hour, creating the perfect side to any meal.
Sunchokes are harvested during the spring and fall. You’ll want to select firm tubers at the market and avoid wilted or sprouting roots. They are not as shelf sturdy as they look, if you aren’t able to eat them right away then keep unwashed tubers in a perforated plastic bag for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator. If the skin looks wrinkled and dehydrated after you’ve stored them, refresh the tubers by soaking in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes.
These overwintered spring tubers are chock full of vitamins A and B-complex, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. They can be eaten peeled or unpeeled; the skin is edible and full of nutrients. Simply rinse the sunchokes under cold water, scrubbing gently with a brush to release the soil from the cracks in the skin prior to cooking. If you plan on peeling them, keep in mind that contact with the air causes the flesh to brown and discolor, therefore toss the peeled tubers into lemon water (2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice + 4 cups (1 quart) water) for a few minutes while prepping.
Honey Glazed Sunchokes
1 pound (454 g) sunchokes, washed, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into ½-inch (1.25 cm) rounds
3 tablespoons (43 g) butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
Garnish: chopped chervil or parsley (optional)
1. Fill and preheat the water oven to 182F/83C.
2. Put the sunchokes, butter, honey, lemon juice and, sea salt in a single layer into a large cooking pouch and vacuum seal.
3. Submerge the pouch in the water oven and cook for 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
4. Remove the sunchokes from the water oven and drain the pouch liquid (sauce) into a small saucepan.
5. Bring the sauce to a boil on the traditional stovetop and reduce the sauce by half.
6. Drizzle the sauce over the sunchokes and garnish with freshly chopped herbs of your choice.