Three years ago I planted Sunchokes in my vegetable garden – it seemed like a really great idea at the time even though several people warned me they are prolific spreaders and hard to get rid of once they’re in. I had no clue how to cook them, how to store them – anything… but I’m a Taurus, I tend to be stubborn, so I planted them anyway.
This is what they look like in bloom – they’re really quite stunning, so I went on my smug little way assuming I knew best. Come fall, they died back and the squirrels went crazy with them. I guessed they’d be gone due to the fuzzy little rodents insatiable appetites and there would be no problem with overpopulation – wrong! The patch came back double in size the following spring and I’d already tried cooking them and wasn’t pleased with the results. Uh-oh… And yes they doubled in size this year too (and popped up in random spots all over the property thanks to the squirrels digging them in for the winter). So at some point this past August I decided to eradicate them – but… after an appetizer last weekend at Union Square Cafe in NY City, I might just let them live a bit longer – at least if I can master their recipe for salt baked sunchokes with lemon aioli. Holy sh*t! We’re they good! (Union Square Cafe are you listening???) Wish I had snapped a picture but that thought only occurred after they were long gone. The chokes were cut into dip-able little bites and served with the aioli. It had a little heat which was the perfect counter point to the sweet flesh.
So this is my attempt…
I peeled the chokes…
And stuck them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. In hindsight I would have cut them smaller so they would crisp up a bit more. If the center stays moist they tend towards gooey which is not so great. I might even try for a ‘chip’ so they’re thin and crisp.
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cloves garlic (blanched)
- 1 teaspoon dijon
- juice Half lemon
- olive oil
- lemon peel (grated)
- S & P (to taste)
|Put the egg yolks, garlic cloves and dijon into your food processor (use the metal blade). Pulse to combine.|
|Add the lemon juice and pulse.|
|With the motor running, slowly (very) add the olive oil in a thin stream until it all pulls together into a mayonnaise-like consistency.|
|Scrape the sides down and add the lemon zest. Taste and adjust S&P.|
I skipped the ‘heat’ in the recipe because I wanted my children to try it. A dash of hot sauce or sprinkle of cayenne would be yummy though.