Sunchokes – I had never used them for anything until now and of course, rather than cooking them, they got pickled. I was in somewhat of a rut deciding what to pickle next and not only did these speak to me in the produce section of Safeway (the powerful voice of desperation), but they were a pleasant surprise in how delish they turned out as pickles.
Interested in learning more about using sunchokes in general? According to the packaging, sunchokes are “the tuber from the sunflower” and “have the nutty flavor of a potato, jicama and an artichoke. They [other than being pickled] can be eaten raw, prepared like a potato, or sautéed…” As you can see, a very versatile little item to have on hand.
This is the first recipe I’ve followed (almost) in full in a while (adapted from here) so full disclosure, I can’t take credit for the success. With the turmeric and mustard seeds, this pickle recipe is very reminiscent of the pickled zucchini recipe I tried back in Week 21. Also require a bit more prep time than other recipes in using salt to draw out moisture but totally worth it and have already polished off a jar of these with friends.
Pickled Sunchoke Recipe
Makes 1 1/2 pints*
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp celery seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- A pinch of cloves
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 pound sunchokes
- Water with 1 lemon, juiced
*The recipe followed indicated 1 quart but I didn’t use the yellow onion or green bell pepper suggested so only got about a pint and a half out of the sunchokes alone. Ain’t no thang.
- Fill a bowl with water and juice of one lemon. Wash and scrub sunchokes and slice into discs or small chunks (they’re similarly shaped to ginger so it was hard to do uniform slices; instead I did sort of a hodgepodge of cuts).
- Place sunchokes into lemon water and soak, as they will oxidize immediately after exposure to air.
- While sunchokes are soaking, bring the vinegar, honey, sugar, celery and mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves and garlic (basically everything but the salt) to a simmer. Set aside and let cool.
- After about 15 minutes of soaking, drain the sunchokes and return to the bowl. Add salt, toss to distribute and let sit for up to 3 hours, tossing occasionally. The longer the sunchokes are salted, the crisper the pickle!
- After 3 hours, drain and discard the sunchoke liquid drawn out by the salt. Fill jars with the sunchoke slices and pour vinegar mixture over each filled jar, making sure to include garlic halves and cloves in each jar if using more than one.
- Recommended use: Refrigerate for at least a day before serving to allow the flavors to mellow and permeate the sunchokes since they are a thicker root vegetable. These are great on their own, especially if you like the stronger flavors of mustard and turmeric!