I have long been enamored with sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and winter is their peak season. The starchy tuber shares qualities with hearty vegetables like turnips and potatoes. They’re delicious just thinly sliced and served raw, but my favorite preparation is roasting them, as their natural sweetness becomes more prominent with caramelization. Most grocery stores carry sunchokes in season; if you don’t see them in the produce section, ask your produce manager to order them. Otherwise, this light, creamy dressing makes the perfect foil for slightly bitter escarole.
ESCAROLE-ROASTED SUNCHOKE SALAD WITH CREAMY DRESSING
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 lb sunchokes, scrubbed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup crème fraiche
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 small head escarole, rinsed, tough outer green leaves removed and remaining leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ cup shaved pecorino
Preparation | Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sunchokes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet, and roast until soft and caramelized, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes. Using the back of a spoon, smash rested sunchokes into bite-size pieces.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine next six ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir well. In a large serving bowl, add escarole, smashed sunchokes and cheese, and toss with dressing. Serve.
Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering (peachtreebanquet.com) in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website Rustic Supper (rusticsupper.com), where she shares recipes centering on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel. She also hosts a series of pop-up dinners in Columbia called Sunday Suppers.