It looks like ginger root but it is a tuber. I went with Mark Bittman's advice to not peel them but I just scrubbed them well.
I had received some advice and tips from friends. One said they make great chips. One was about try this recipe. Another warned me of their nickname: fartichokes. I was paging through a recent Bon Appetit and found another option. But after the sunchokes arrived, we had a getaway to Healdsburg and had a great dinner at Chalkboard. They served an excellent Cream of Sunchoke Soup with Dungeness Crab with apple and celery. I adapted it and went with this recipe when I got home. The recipe below can also be adapted for a number of other ingredients. Instead of sunchokes, you can use broccoli, potato, cauliflower, etc.
Cream of Sunchoke Soup (with caramelized shallot and mushroom)Garnish: Caramelized shallots and mushroom
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 -3 mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced (including stalk)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Salt, to taste
- White pepper, to taste
- balsamic vinegar (optional), a dash
Prior to getting started on the soup, prep all of the garnish ingredients. Heat a small skillet and melt the butter. Add the shallots. After about 5 minutes, as shallots begin to soften, add the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat, stirring on occasion, for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is browned with crispy edges. Transfer to a small bowl.
Cream of Sunchoke Soup
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. sunchokes, scrubbed well, skin on, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. brandy
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 3 cups broth
- 1/2 cup half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
Gradually add 2 cups of broth and stir to mix. Simmer for 5 minutes or longer until vegetables soften.
Transfer to a food processor (or use an immersion blender) adding up to a cup of stock to desired consistency.
Return soup to skillet, add half and half and season generously with salt and pepper. Add last tablespoon of brandy and white wine.
Cook until mixed. Serve in bowls and mound the shallot garnish in the center.
Serve with some toasted, buttered slices of ciabatta or other good quality bread.