I still remember the first time I had a sunchoke, or a Jerusalem artichoke as others call them. I remember it's dirty, gnarled, and knotty appearance. It looked so unappetizing, and quite frankly worthless. Little did I know how wrong I would prove to be. I was visiting my grandparents home and one of my brothers and I were wandering through Grandpa's garden. Grandpa is gone now, but oh how I wish all of you could have seen his garden, he loved that garden and it truly was legendary among us grandchildren. I remember the rows of corn, tomatoes, berries, vegetables, and fruits. It was so beautiful in the spring and summer, and the scents of the plants blooming were intoxicating. During this visit we found a little patch of sunchokes, my older brother was immediately excited about our discovery, I however was clueless, I had never had one before. So I grabbed several and took them home to experiment.
The first couple of experiments were less than appetizing, to be honest they were beyond revolting. This is one of my favorite creations that I have come up with. It has definitely been a big hit with company every time I have made it. Try sunchokes, the season is starting for them, and they really are delightful. This is one of my favorite lunch salads, I wish I had discovered it far earlier than I did but it is better late than never.
Sunchoke and Arugula Salad
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sunchokes, trimmed, peeled & thinly sliced
8 ounces arugula
3 ounces shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shaved fennel
3 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
Whisk orange juice, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine sunchokes, arugula, fennel, pomegranate seeds, and Parmesan in large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat.