One of the vagaries of CSA membership is the overload of some vegetables coupled with the complete lack of others due to crop loss or uncooperative weather. We agree to support the farmer through those ups and downs in return for some really great produce. But occasionally, enough is enough. I believe a few of you are feeling this way about the sunchokes. I can assure you, the two CSA managers have fridge-fulls ourselves. Even sharing them with friends, I have a couple of bags waiting to be used. I don’t want them every night or even twice a week for dinner… so they languish. Luckily, they aren’t going bad, and options remain for using them up.
Here is a simple (and not terribly heavy) sunchoke and leek soup I found. I made one very similar, but instead of leeks I added Chinese broccoli. This would be great with kale (coming in a week or two).
A vegetarian friend of mine, gifted with sunchokes by me and doubly gifted with abilities to improvise recipes, made a fantastic and simple hash-brown sort of recipe from scratch last week.
a pound or so of sunchokes
2-4 Tbsp oil (olive, or if you have it, sunflower)
herbs and spices to taste (I think she used salt, pepper, and thyme)
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
Clean the chokes well. Slice them into thumb-sized chunks. Throw them into the heated oil in the skillet, stirring to prevent sticking and spicing to taste. When they’re soft and getting crispy on the edges, add the sunflower seeds and cook another 3-4 minutes. Serve with salad.
Variations — add some diced onion, peppers, and garlic to the mix before the sunchokes make it to the pan.