Take Root


This tasty tuber goes by many names. The sunchoke is also known as Jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, and earth apple. Part of the sunflower family, it was cultivated by Native North Americans long before the arrival of Europeans, who eventually took it home with them. (French soup hasn’t been the same since.) High in protein, its carbohydrates are converted to fructose after harvesting, giving it a sweet, nutty flavour that can make its root-vegetable cousins seem like small potatoes.

The Recipe: Sunchoke Hummus
Serve this as a dip with pita crisps, crackers, or crudités
1/2 onion, diced
2 lb white sunchokes, washed and scrubbed
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
salt, to taste
1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup olive oil

In a pan sauté onion until translucent, then set aside. Toss sunchokes with 2 tbsp olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, and salt, then spread in a shallow pan and roast, covered, at 375°F for about one hour, or until very soft. Combine the onion, sunchokes (thyme and bay leaves removed), and remaining ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Add a couple more tablespoons of water to loosen, if needed. Cool to room temperature. Serves four. Store covered in the fridge for up to three days.