Sunchokes aka. Jerusalem Artichokes, are a relative of the sunflower, and are not an artichoke at all. They do have a mild artichoke heart taste to them, and are starchy, but have no starch in them. They store their carboyhydrates as inulin, a great source of fiber and a prebiotic! They don't take being boiled very well, becoming mushy, but roasted or steamed they keep their shape beautifully.
Sunchokes can be eaten raw, but because of the inulin (that isn't digestible) for some they cause stomach upsets. Start small eating raw, or steam, roast, add to mashed potatoes, or shave thinly and fry to make crisp sunchoke chips.
We dig our sunchokes in the spring and as we are harvesting them we leave all the small tubers in the ground, taking only what we need for the CSA and our wholesale customers. What is left in the ground will grow up this summer and multiply underground. Next spring we will then go through the same process. We have three different sunchoke patches on the farm.
Storage: Store your sunchokes out of the bag in a cool, dry place, or in the crisper wrapped in a tea towel or paper towel to absorb excess moisture. As they were dug on the weekend, they can be stored for 3 weeks in this manner.
Try one of the recipes below, or let us know how you ate your sunchokes and we will share with the rest of the CSA members.
This recipe from Viktoria's Table is one that she makes with either potatoes or sunchokes. Ours are not as large as the one in the picture (ours must be a different variety), but by slicing then length ways you should be able to get large pieces to make this recipe with.
This weekend it was 11 am and we needed lunch, plus leftovers for lunch for some of the week. Soup is always a hit with my family so I got what was on hand and started. This simple soup lends itself to many different vegetables. I like it with mushrooms added at the end but we didn't have any this time.
Quick vegetable lentil soup:
I started by chopping up a few leeks and an onion.
That went into a large pot with a few glugs of olive oil and a little butter.
While that was cooking I got the veggies prepped.
I peeled the carrots and turnip then cubed them. I trimmed the brussels sprouts, halved them, then sliced them thinly.
Once the leeks and onions were cooked down, I added the vegetables, as well as one and a half quarts of canned tomatoes (I happen to have TapRoot tomatoes I canned in the summer), and about a quart stock (veggie, chicken, or beef). I also added one of my favorite fast cooking legumes, red lentils.
I find red lentils lend such a nice consistency (and protein) to soup, they break down a bit, but still hold some shape. Plus they cook in 20 or so minutes.
I added some salt and pepper, frozen kale and basil from the freezer, and let it simmer for 20 or so minutes.
We ate the soup with some grated parmesan cheese and miso mixed in at the end.
Gilbert, half asleep from his nap, ate two bowls full.
I put a call out for your favouorite eggplant recipes last week on Facebook, here's the excellent results! Thanks to everyone who shared a recipe, loads of great ideas here! I am excited about cooking my eggplant... So many different ways to try it!
From Justine: Eggplant is my very favorite! I like it just brushed with olive oil and grilled. TapRoot eggplant is so flavorful, sweet, and never bitter. I never even salt it beforehand. With the grilled eggplant you can make a super simple baba with blending it with garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and olive oil. SO GOOD!
From Rachel: We use it as a replacement for lasagna noodles - super tasty!
From Zoe: Ratatouille: I'm pretty sure this is the recipe I used last year at this time. So yummy, and a great way to use up a bunch of seasonal veggies!
From Linda: Eggplant sliced into thin lengths, brushed with olive oil and grill. Stack a slice of tomato and mozzarella and some fresh basil on one side and fold the other half of the eggplant over, then wrap another slice of eggplant the opposite way. Sprinkle parmesan on the top and put back on the grill or broil in the oven until cheese melts. Ridiculously delicious!
From Kirsten: Eggplant is amazing! My favorite is to dip it in beaten egg, then roll in seasoned flour and fry in a little oil. Top with spaghetti sauce or chopped tomatoes and onion and some mozzarella! Also great as beer batter fritters!
From Jennifer: We like it in baba ganoush or in roasted veg sauce (toss tomatoes, garlic, onion, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, herbs, etc. into a roasting pan with some olive oil, roast & blend with an immersion blender. We freeze it for a winter treat. It's yummy & easy and a great way to clean out any extra veggies that are kicking around. We also make moussaka with ground beef or lamb. Mmmmm.
From Cheryl: eezy peezy recipe: grease a cookie pan with olive oil. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch (12.7mm) slices and lay on pan. Add course ground sea salt & black pepper, pressed garlic & generously drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Preheat oven to 350o F (170 C). Bake for approximately 7 minutes EACH side. (depending on your oven).
From Ruth: One of my favourite recipes is this one for Griddled Eggplant Roll Ups:
I found this delicious looking recipe for eggplant that I plan on making
and thought you could share it with the members-- the original had
some steps missing, so I'll just type it out how I
plan on making it:
Eggplant Parmesan Burgers
1 eggplant of a fairly good size
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten with 3tbsp milk
2 cups bread crumbs with 1tsp each fresh or dried parsley and thyme
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (canned is fine if this is all you have)
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups tomato sauce (I use a can of either store bought or homemade
plain tomato sauce that I have added to a diced onion that has been
browned with some herbs on the stove.)
Any other burger toppings you like! I think fresh basil, spinach, any
type of lettuce or sprouts, even shredded carrot would be delicious.
Slice the eggplants lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices - Leave as a
whole slice if you have buns that size, if not just cut out or use a
cookie cutter to bring it down to the size of the bun you have.
Sprinkle the eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt and let it drain in a
colander over a bowl or in the sink for 45 minutes to remove excess
Bread the eggplant by first rinsing off the salt and blotting with
paper towel. Next mix together the breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan
cheese. Dip the eggplant first in the flour, then the eggs and then
the breadcrumb mixture.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add about a half inch of oil
(I prefer peanut or safflower oil). Pan-fry the breaded eggplant in
batches for 2 to 3 minutes, flipping them once until both sides are
golden brown. Remove the cooked eggplant and immediately transfer to
a paper towel-lined plate. Continue the pan-frying process, changing
the oil as necessary, until all of the rounds are cooked.
Halve your rolls and add 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce to the bottoms
of the rolls. Stack an eggplant round atop the sauce, top it with
another tablespoon of sauce and a piece of sliced mozzarella. Repeat
the assembling process with all of the buns, transferring them to a
cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Turn your broiler to high and carefully slide the cookie sheet under
the broiler just long enough until the cheese melts. Top with any
other toppings you like and then devour!
Jennifer and Allison say: Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorites.
As you may know, Jill is our "herbie" at the farm. We consult once in a while about what herbs are available for the CSA. When Jill mentioned parsley this week, I asked her if she could make sure to share a recipe for tabbouleh with me for the newsletter. She did me much better than simply linking to the first Google result-- Here's a tabbouleh recipe from Jill's friend Alia's Palestinian Grandmother Alya Awdi. Recipes like this are solid gold-- I love when people share traditional recipes that they've been making for years and likely don't even have written down!
As she forwarded the email, I am sharing a little more than just the recipe, because I think it's cute, and adds to the special-ness of this recipe!
J: Do you think that Sitto would share her tabbouleh recipe for next weeks TapRoot newsletter?
A: Sure! she was so stoked when I called and told her you wanted her recipe!
Here goes my best translation:
2-3 bunches parsley washed really well, chopped fine fine, soaked in water 5 mins set aside
4 tomatoes washed really well, chopped small
1 small onion chopped small small
add some salt,citric acid (can be bought at mid east centre) -lemon if you don't have it and a sprinkle of cumin- all to your taste.
Then add 1/2 cup bourgul (bulgur) fine, washed well but not cooked, add to mix