Between all the holidays, I find myself gravitating towards lighter meals. Bring on all the greens and vegetables. This is especially helpful when visiting the Sunday market- everything looks good. It’s around this time of year I grab extra sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes). These cousins of the sunflower have a nice, warm flavor that’s not overpowering.
The raw texture is a bit akin to potato and the roasted sunchoke has an extra lovely nutty flavor (like in this sunchoke salad). I also love this salad because it blatantly plays on the sunflower relationship (with the help toasted sunflower seeds!) Also, if you need a bit more inspiration about what to do with these delightful vegetables, this article has some amazing ideas!
A solid fresh winter salad featuring roasted sunchokes tossed with spinach and sunflower seeds.
- 1 pound sunchokes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 to 4 large handfuls of baby or shredded spinach
- 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Give the sunchokes a good scrub and pat dry. Cut into rough ½” thick cubes. Place on a sheet tray along with the minced garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Toss to combine. Roast for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The sunchokes should be tender and browning. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once the sunchokes are fairly well cooled, combine with the spinach and sunflower seeds. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a jar with tight lid; shaking until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the salad is well coated with the dressing.
With this being such a simple salad, the possibilities to change it are many. Really, anything outside of the sunchokes themselves can be swapped for ingredients you might already have on hand.
Greens: Swap out the spinach for kale or regular lettuce greens.
Nuts: I love sunflower seeds (because of the close relationship between sunflower and sunchokes). However, almonds slivers or chopped hazelnuts work well too.
Grains: This salad is fairly delicate and makes for a wonderful side. If you’re looking to bulk it up a bit, adding whole grains like farro or sorghum would work well.
Sunchokes are relatively new to my kitchen but an ingredient with which I’m falling fast in love. I like to use it in conjunction with other fall/winter vegetables for its nutty, smooth flavor. Sunchokes also go by the name Jerusalem Artichokes but are not actually part of the artichoke family, rather they are part of the sunflower family. Look for sunchokes at farmers’ markets or in the specialty section of the grocery store.