Farmers Market Find: Not Your Average Artichoke

Alright, I promised myself that I would deliver this weekend’s Farmers Market find as soon as possible, before I let the week sneak by me!

Okey dokey artichoke-y, this weekends find features a very unique artichoke. When we think of this vegetable, we generally picture a lotus-looking food which we roast and either use for a classic spinach artichoke dip, or as a pizza topping.

Well this particular one doesn’t quite look, or taste, like the familiar image shown above.
In fact,  I personally think the only things they have in common are that they are both in the vegetable category, and both named artichoke.

Hmmm not entirely what you’d expect these suckers to look like, huh?

I present to you Jerusalem Artichokes, not to be mistaken for ginger root, which I (as well as several others nearby) thought they were. The ironic thing about this is that there is absolutely no connection between them and Jerusalem, nor is there any relation to these guys and our familiar artichokes. Slightly mind-boggling….but oh well, I’ll try ’em!

Providing us with delicious produce from their farm in Fresno, CA

I found these little guys at the Yang Farms stand, where I generally get my onions, ginger, garlic, sweet potatoes and yams if I haven’t already gotten them at the grocery store the day before. This stand is very low-key, but they have a lot of great deals for great quality produce.

Jerusalem artichokes have several health benefits. They are a great source of potassium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, and copper. They also contain a natural source of inulin, which is a type of fiber. Foods high in fiber are excellent to add to your daily diet, as they keep you regular and maintain your satiety levels when it comes to hunger.

This little piece of produce is probably one of the most unique natural foods I have ever seen. First off, as I mentioned  before, they are not in relation to the artichoke plant, but rather they are a species of sunflower. They also go by the name of “sunchoke” and “sunroot,” which I personally find a little more fitting now that I know more of their background.

The description of their taste depends on the form it is consumed. When raw, it is light and crunchy with a light nutty flavor. When cooked, they taste very similar to potatoes, making it an excellent substitute without sacrificing too much flavor. The only difference is that potatoes are far more starchy, which you can pick up when comparing the texture, as well as the flavor. Jerusalem artichokes are a little less robust in the flavor department, when comparing the two, but not my too much.

I went ahead and used these little suckers to make a quick skinny potato salad, adapted from one of my mom’s recipes. I have to say, for making this last minute because I was in need of a little more substance to go along with my balsamic tilapia, it turned out pretty darn good!

The Nibbler’s Skinny “Potato” Salad:

Jerusalem Artichoke, peeled
egg whites (preferably H.B., but I just microwaved some for timing reasons)
Diced yellow bell pepper **use diced celery instead, it gives a better texture
Dijon mustard -to taste
Walden Farm’s honey mustard mayo- to taste
Pinch of Dill
**Be sure to have equal parts of Jerusalem artichoke and  egg whites

Place the Jerusalem artichokes in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water, and chop into tiny cubes. Chop the egg whites into tiny cubes as well.
In a separate dish mix equal parts dijon mustard and honey mustard.
Mix ingredients together, and sprinkle in a little bit of dill.

The dill makes this pair so well with any white fish dish!

Enjoy right away, or stick in the fridge overnight for a nice cool “potato” salad.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Who’s looking forward to Halloween?? I am! 🙂

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