The humble j-choke. The sunchoke. A Deep Root staple. An indigenous vegetable. A crop that builds and regenerates soil instead of depleting it. It is neither an artichoke, nor comes from Jerusalem. Through the mysteries of English etymology, it gets its name from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole, because it is in the sunflower family.
The vegetable has been popular throughout the years because it was so easy to propagate, but also in modern times it was discovered that the tuber has a low glycemic index, so it’s great for people with specialty diets.
It can be eaten raw or cooked, as well as pickled. In some parts of Europe, they ferment it into brandy!
Some recipes are built around it to use a substitute for potatoes and even avocados.
Adapt from links below, you can make a dip from j-chokes. It’s lovely and creamy, and can be used on its own, like hummus, or it could make a great base for many recipes. You could add fresh chunks of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro to make a guacamole-type dip, or add basil and oregano and toss it with pasta.
This recipe is also really versatile, and can be adapted to your personal tastes, or whatever you have in the pantry. I used cashews for the nut, but you could use hazelnuts or walnuts as well, or even sunflower seeds. And I used an oat yogurt, but any yogurt or thick coconut milk would work. You could switch out the apple cider vinegar for your favorite vinegar.
- 1lb Jerusalem artichokes
- ½ cup cashews, roasted and in pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ cup yogurt
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Scrub the artichokes and cut into smaller, evenly sized pieces. Place on a roasting tray with the garlic and season with enough oil to coat, sea salt and the vinegar.
- Roast at 400 F until soft, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Place in a food processor with the yogurt and cashews. Blend until smooth. Add a little water if desired, to make a looser dip. Adjust the seasoning with salt and vinegar if required.
- Serve in bowl and finish with a little oil and flaky sea salt.
I was able to blend with an immersion blender as well, which works great if you don’t have a food processor.
Since I was doing hummus-style, I served with a sprinkling of sumac and dipped with watermelon radishes.