Native to North America, the sunchoke is a tuber with a mild flavor similar to that of new potatoes or chestnuts. In many Native communities, sunchokes, which grow from the roots of a sunflower species, are dug up in fall after the first frost, and are eaten raw or cooked like a potato. Cherokee cooks make sunchoke pickles and preserves.
For this salad, sunchokes are roasted and tossed with dried berries and sunflower seeds, then dressed with a sweet and tangy ginger vinaigrette.
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 pound unpeeled sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup dried blueberries or currants
- ½ cup toasted, cooled sunflower seeds
- ½ cup finely shredded arugula
- ½ cup frisée lettuce leaves
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic together. Gradually whisk in the oil.
For the salad:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the sunchokes in a medium bowl and toss with the oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the sunchokes, blueberries or currants, sunflower seeds, arugula and frisée. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning.