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Sunchoke Latkes

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Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce
Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce

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.

grated sunchoke tubers
grated sunchoke tubers

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!

Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)
Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)

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!)

Ingredients

  • handful of sunchoke tubers, grated
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for cooking

Directions

  • 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.

sunchoke latkes with black rice flour

Traditionally served with apple sauce and sour cream.

Enjoy!

Melissa

3dbookcover2For more winter recipes, check out our newest book: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting, available now!

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Starting to Think About A Wild Thanksgiving

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Delicata Squash with Wild Mushroom Stuffing (vegan, gluten-free)

Delicata Squash with Wild Mushroom Stuffing (vegan, gluten-free)

Wait, is Thanksgiving next week…already?!? How exciting!
We can get all sorts of wild edibles on our Thanksgiving table, from mushroom to plant…but in our case we are going to let the wild turkeys roam (we are vegetarian foragers!)
So lets have a vegan gluten-free wild Thanksgiving!

I’ve been seeing lots of prime edibles:

  • Burdock root
  • Burdock leaf stalk
  • Dandelion leaves and root
  • Sassafras and Spicebush twigs and root
  • acorns
  • black walnuts
  • hickory nut
  • garlic mustard
  • dead nettles
  • nettles
  • creeping charlie/ground ivy
  • hen of the woods
  • blewit mushrooms
  • abortive entaloma (mushroom)
  • bears tooth or lion’s mane

…so many possibilities!!!

And what about Vegan Gluten-Free Entrees and sides for the Thanksgiving table?

Try stuffed squash, like the delicata squash above with a wild mushroom stuffing with acorn flour biscuits, burdock leaf stalks in gravy and white bean and nettle soup. For a dessert drink: dandelion root coffee pumpkin latte.

Recipe for Wild Mushroom Stuffed Squash100_4766

  • Delicata (or your favorite stuffing squash: butternut, acorn) - cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out AND SAVED FOR ROASTING!
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped (I used hen of the woods)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup seeds (I used sunflower seeds and pepitas which are shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • Optional: 2 cups chopped greens such as nettles, deadnettles, dandelion greens or spinach
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 1 Tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

To Prepare Squash and Roast Seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  3. Clean seeds and place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and salts and mix thoroughly.
  4. Rub oil on the cut side of the squash and place face down onto cooking tray.
  5. Place Squash and seeds in oven.
  6. After 15 minutes remove seeds and mix again so they cook evenly. Replace in oven and cook 10 to 15 minutes more until done.
  7. Check squash: depending on size/thickness it should take about 40 to 60 minutes to cook. It’s done when it is soft when the top is pressed.
  8. Remove from oven, flip right side up and allow to cool.

To Make Stuffing:

  1. In pan on stove, saute wild mushrooms in olive oil for at least 15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat.
  2. Saute onion in olive oil with sea salt until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, mushrooms, celery and spices and saute at least 5 minutes more.
  4. If using greens, add them now and saute until wilted.
  5. Add seeds and saute another couple minutes.
  6. Add cooked rice and tamari and mix while heating through.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.

Fill Squash with stuffing and serve.

I’ll continue planning our Thanksgiving table and keep you updated.

I made a recipe for White Bean Nettle Soup which I will share with you soon as well.

What other things can you think of for the wild table?

Please add your comments below.

Enjoy the fall!!

~ Melissa

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