One of my favorite winter wild edibles is Jerusalem Artichoke - or Sunchoke - tubers.
Jerusalem Artichoke is actually native to America, and is in the sunflower (not artichoke) family. Its botanical name is Helianthus tuberosus. - the sunflower known for its edible tuber.
The flowers bloom in the late fall, usually September and October. All through the winter, as long as the ground is not frozen solid, the tubers can be dug up and eaten - and they are delicious! They can be enjoyed raw (I like to grate them into salad) or cooked (I love to roast them in the oven.) They have a wonderful unique flavor that I crave during the winter!
Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used in any recipe in place of potatoes, but be warned they have a slightly different consistency when cooked than potatoes, they are a little more watery. This is because the starch is different. Jerusalem artichokes contain the starch inulin, which actually helps regulate blood sugar making it an excellent food for diabetics, or anyone with blood sugar issues.
Other than roasting it with other root vegetables, my favorite recipe is Sunchoke Soup (sometimes called “Palestine Soup”, a play on the name “Jerusalem.”)
This is a simple yet delightful recipe that is superb on the holiday table!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 - 7 tubers Jersalem Artichokes, washed well, peeled half-heartedly (don’t worry about getting all the peel off), and chopped
- water or stock to cover vegetables
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, good if not using vegetable stock)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Saute onion in olive oil.
- Add Jerusalem artichoke and continue to saute, adding some salt, to bring out flavors.
- Cover with water or stock and let simmer until sunchokes are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Place in blender with cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper. Whizz til smooth.
- Reheat and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
This soup is simple and delicious!!!
You can find other amazing holiday recipes in my book, “Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting; Delicious Recipes for the Holidays or Anyday.”
I hope you are staying warm and enjoying some winter wild edibles! It can be fun to make the holiday table WILD with some great winter edibles!
~ Melissa from Food Under Foot