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These tubers are neither from Jerusalem or are they related to artichokes. They are in the sunflower family, and have some of that nutty flavor. This recipe takes its name from my kids. Once when I was making this, they were watching and my daughter commented that the slices of sunchoke looked like gold coins. These are great-they taste like a cross between potato chips, French fries, and sunflower seeds. Just be sure to serve them hot, as they do not hold well. Peeling these is beyond tedious. Soak them in cool water for 5 minutes or so, then scrub them with a brush.
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, well-scrubbed with a brush (a fresh nail brush works well.)
1-2 tablespoons sunflower, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 tablespoon best quality butter (Optional-The flavor goes really well here, but if you decide not to use, you might need more oil.)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh minced herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or sage
Bring a pot of water large enough to hold the sliced sunchokes with an inch to spare to the boil.
Using a thin bladed, really sharp knife (otherwise you run the risk of the chokes chipping and cracking), slice the tubers into ¼ inch rounds. When the water boils, drop the coins into the water and cook just until a thin bladed knife tip will enter a little. The coins should not be cooked, but should no longer be raw. Drain well and put into a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of oil and toss to coat the coins all over.
Heat a large skillet-10 to 12 inches- over medium-high heat. When hot, lightly film with oil and heat up. Add the butter, and swirl to cover the pan bottom. Add the coins and toss to coat in butter.
Sauté until the coins are golden and crisp outside, and creamy/tender inside. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with the herbs. Toss and cook a few seconds longer to wake up the flavors of the herbs, then serve hot. Like French fries, these don’t improve with sitting around.
Chef’s Notes: This is a basic recipe and you should feel free to use it as a launching pad. Cook this and drizzle with something like the Green Onion Parsley Yogurt Dressing, or treat them like Patatas Brava. Include in frittatas, toss on cocques, and combined with potatoes these are really good. They tend to take flavors really well, and blend well with cured meats like cured hams and Spanish chorizo.
Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen
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