Are you looking for new and interesting salads – filled with taste and nutrition? Then consider the Jerusalem Artichoke – neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke! Despite the misnomer – Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) are delicious.
They have a nutty, refreshing taste and can be eaten in a variety of ways – raw, boiled, steamed, sauteed, mashed, baked, etc. They can be substituted for potatoes in recipes (although the sunchoke cooking time is vastly quicker – once you can pierce the sunchoke easily, it is done). You scrub them clean, no need for peeling. If you are looking for them in a supermarket – they look very similar to ginger root. You can find these at SunFresh – the produce market on Reisterstown near Subway. If you are choosing – you will want to avoid sunchokes that are wrinkled, have soft spots, blotches or have sprouts.
Sunchokes are low in fat and high in nutritional content – they have calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, pholates, carotene among other things – and they are yummy.*
When looking to spruce up a salad you already have, you can use sunchokes raw – just slice them (so they look like circles) and they will add crunch. Below I give you a recipe for an Herbed Quinua salad where you steam the sunchokes. I also use the sunchoke as an edible garnish.
As a note: in addition to adding sunchokes to salads, easy ways to make a salad more memorable is to add fresh or dried fruits, and some kind of nuts – they add crunchiness and protein.
Herbed Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup celery
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup sliced sunchokes
- 1 red pepper de-seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup Craisins
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh dill minced
- Roasted Sunflower seeds
Place the quinoa in a large bowl; fill with cold water. Pour into a strainer, then return the quinoa to the bowl and rinse until water runs clear – if you skip this step, your quinua might be bitter. As fyi: Quinoa is coated with saponin,that gives the bitter taste unless you rinse it a couple of times.
Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft. Add the rinsed quinoa and stir about 4 minutes – this will give a more roasted flavor and the quinua will crackle as it’s being sauteed.
Add the vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sunchokes, red pepper, parsley and dill and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add the roasted sunflower seeds after cooking, this adds crunch – it’s optional.
*The nutritional information came from the USDA’s webpage on the Jerusalem-artichoke
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