Odd little knobs, these Jerusalem artichokes. And who'd guess that something named such would neither be from no where near the Wailing Wall nor an artichoke?

(And here I was thinking this could be one artichoke I'd actually like ...)

Like hapless-prunes-turned-chic-dried-plums, these are now marketed as sunchokes. The new name fits. Supposedly they're related to sunflowers. And well, to be frank, peeling them is a bit of a choke.

That said, I'm glad I tried these. They're all about crunch. Good crunch. I'd add them to a crudite platter any time, like tonight. Well except for the fact that they turn a dull gray after about 15 minutes of air exposure. No matter, just eat fast. Or close your eyes.

However, people do cook Jerusalem artichokes. I found recipes that called for peeling scads of them for gratins and mashed somethings. I can't imagine: peeling is extraordinarily tedious, especially because even with great care, they just don't look that great in the end.

So, try them. They taste good. And then wait until the genetic manipulators remove the knobs to make them easier to peel.

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES AS CRUDITES
Active time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes

Wash well. Peel. Slice thin. Serve.






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