Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes (though they’re neither artichokes nor related to Jerusalem in any way) and nearly identical to gingerroot, are knobby tubers shrouded in misconception. But take them for what they are – the nutrient-rich roots of a North American sunflower variety, with a sweet, earthy flavor – and you’ll find that these über-local veggies deserve an identity all their own.
Sunchokes are available from October through March, and they store well in the fridge for a couple weeks after purchase. It’s up to you whether you peel them or not; just give them a vigorous scrub and leave the skins on for maximum nutritional benefit. Rich in vitamin C, potassium and iron, sunchokes are crunchy and nutty when raw, with a texture similar to water chestnuts. When roasted, baked, or cooked into soups, they make a great substitute for potatoes.