Roasted Sunchokes with Arugula Pesto
Sunchokes are a species of sunflower native to North America and a great source of an indigestible starch called inulin. This starch is a potent prebiotic, feeding beneficial bacteria in the lower intestines and providing good digestive health. And if that’s not reason enough to eat them, they also taste like artichokes—thus their other common name the Jerusalem artichoke.
I must admit that I had a love hate relationship with sunchokes. I tried them steamed and mashed into gnocchi, cubed into hash, and boiled into a sort of mashers. The flavor is great, bright, artichoke-esque, but the texture always leaves something to be desired. It wasn’t until I roasted them that I really enjoyed them.
When roasted they become somewhat fluffy and very tasty. I’ve never fried them, but I can imagine them being good that way too, thought you’d need to parboil them probably. I mean, what isn’t good fried?
So if this is your first try at cooking sunchokes I would suggest roasting them. Then pair them with this arugula pesto for a delicious snack or side and even mix some with mayonnaise for a dipping sauce if you prefer.
- 1 pound sunchokes
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch young arugula
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice of half lemon
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Quarter sunchokes lengthwise or slice into ½-inch thick rounds.
- Toss in oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes.
- In a food processor combine arugula, garlic and lemon juice.
- Process, adding olive oil in thin stream until a rough paste.
- Add walnuts and rough chop.
- Add Parmigiano and incorporate briefly, adding more olive oil to keep moist.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove sunchokes from oven, toss with 2 tablespoons of arugula pesto and serve.