I had heard of Jerusalem Artichokes before, but had never really thought about cooking with them until I had a bunch in my Bountiful Basket. One of by favorite things about the baskets (besides the great price for produce) is learning to cook new things.
Jerusalem Artichokes (also known as sunchokes) are a tuber from a sunflower native to North America. They look a lot like ginger root and I think the flavor is a mix of potato and water chestnut. They are also a bit notorious for causing noxious emissions in some people (um… you know smelly farts).
My wife found a recipe with sage here. I decide to change it a bit and it turned out great.
The potential digestive issues with the sunchokes can be avoided by proper preparation. The flatulence is caused by the high inulin content of the tubers. The inulin dissolves in hot water easily. I followed the recommendations in Nourishing Traditions. Simply peel the chokes and boil in water for 15 minutes, add some lemon juice during the last 5 minutes of boiling. Drain and cut.
At this point the tubers are cooked and will not cut well in a mandolin. I recommend a really good knife like the Wusthof Super Slicer, with a gentle sawing motion you will get perfect slices.
Gather some sage leaves. Sage is simple to grow and hardy. I went to the back yard and dug under the snow to gather some leaves off one of our plants.
Heat some good quality butter to medium. Place the sliced Jerusalem Artichokes in the hot butter. Flip frequently until browned on both sides.
Once browned, remove the sunchokes and add the sage leaves to the butter. The leaves will become crispy in just a minute or two.
Place the crispy sage leaves on top and pour the butter over the top.
This is simple recipe that can impress. A great way to start off a meal. I would omit this from a romantic dinner, however, It would be too bad if the mood was spoiled by the potential side effects.