We have had a few light frosts already but the ground is wet and unfrozen. This means it’s the best time to harvest some of my favourites, among them sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes. I have written several posts on these tubers, but if you are not familiar with them, refer to this post.
The wonderful thing about sunchokes is that they taste just like actual artichokes. Also, they grow easily and are available from October till April at any time the ground is not frozen solid. They are inexpensive and if you have your own source, they are free!
On the downside, they do not store well. They can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but are best very fresh. Once cooked, they have to be consumed within a day or two, and never try to freeze them. I have found drying and fermenting the best way to preserve them – until I came up with my latest sunchoke recipe, a pesto made with herbs, roasted sunchokes and roasted almonds. This kept well in the fridge for a week, and after that I froze the remainder, and neither the taste nor the texture suffered as a result. The artichoke flavour came through perfectly, and the lemon flavour and herbs were a delicious combination. Pine nuts, walnuts or filberts would work just as well, and as for herbs, use what you like and have on hand.
Sunchoke Lemon Pesto
1/3 cup roasted sunchokes
1 cup lightly packed herbs (I used half and half mint and basil)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup roasted almonds
juice of 1 lemon
a strip of lemon rind (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Chop the nuts and herbs in a food processor. Blend in the other ingredients, except the oil. Once everything is combined, add the oil slowly until you have the right consistency.
Like all pestos, this goes well with any kind of pasta. No need for cheese here, unless of course you really want it.
Spread on crackers or bread, it makes a super and easy little snack.
And it stores well!
Linked to Fiesta Friday #95
Related posts: Jerusalem Artichokes