I have a new favorite wild food: Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), or Sunchokes!
I know I say this every season, every time I get on a kick with a new wild edible. And I’m saying it again: I cannot get enough of Jerusalem Artichokes. I love their taste, I love their texture, I love them raw, I love how they cook up.
Chanukah came (and went) early this year. Latkes (or potato pancakes) are the traditional food of the holiday, and we do have some latke recipes which incorporate wild foods on this website and in Winter Foraging Holiday Feasting, because chickweed and garlic mustard are great greens to find in the winter!
Today I decided to make latkes without potatoes. Though the ground was indeed frozen, we were able to break through and dig up some sunchoke tubers, a traditional native food which I used instead of potatoes.
I grated the tubers and then grated 1/2 onion, mixed in some flour (my flour mix included black rice flour, which is why the potato pancakes came out darker than usual), an egg, salt and pepper. I sauteed the latkes in olive oil, celebrating the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, which is why latkes are a Chanukah food!
In my vitamix I whipped up some apple sauce (ingredient: apples) and there you have it: pure deliciousness.
Sunchokes differ from potatoes in that sunchokes carbohydrate is mostly inulin, which is a blood-sugar stabilizing carbohydrate.
So there you have it, latkes without potatoes, the way the Native Americans and pilgrims must have enjoyed their latkes on Chanukah (haha, not!)
- handful of sunchoke tubers, grated
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for cooking
- Mix grated sunchokes, grated onions, egg, flour and salt and pepper. If using non-wheat flour like rice flour (like I did) allow a minute or two for the flour to absorb extra liquid
- Add 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil to pan, to cover bottom. I do not deep fry my latkes.
- Heat oil on medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
- drop pancake mix in 2 inch diameter thin circles
- Allow to cook until bottom browns, about 6 - 8 minutes
- Flip and cook on other side until browned, about 3 - 5 minutes
- Remove to paper towels to absorb excess oil
- Continue in batches, you may need to add more oil every couple batches.
This only made 6 pancakes. If you have more tubers you can make more.
Traditionally served with apple sauce and sour cream.
For more winter recipes, check out our newest book: Winter Foraging Holiday Feasting, available now!