A sweet, crunchy tuber that is neither a member of the artichoke family nor did it originate anywhere near Jerusalem. Heaianthus tuberosus is a member of the sunflower family, hence its other name, sunchoke. Some say its misnomer came from a mispronunciation of “girasole,” the Italian word for sunflower, plus the fact that its flavour is similar to the true artichoke.
The gnarled, knobbly tubers resemble ginger roots and have creamy white flesh. Raw, they are crisp like radishes and cooked, their texture is somewhere between potatoes and roasted onions. Jerusalem artichokes have a sweet and nutty flavour, which is intensified by cooking. They’re sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes, but the starch is different from potato starch and so may not be easily digestible for everyone.
The gnarly tubers can be eaten both raw — the peel is edible but many people prefer to remove it — or cooked. They can be sliced into salads, stir fries, soups and pasta dishes, much like water chestnuts. They’re also good roasted or braised and served with butter and cream.
Organza Market, 230 Osborne St.