Sunchoke Puree with Roasted Maitake Mushrooms

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In this post I am going to showcase a root vegetable that might not enjoy widespread popularity. It is a tuber that resembles a ginger root, and it is well known in French cuisine. I am talking about what the French call Topinambour, better known here as Jerusalem artichoke, Sunchoke or earth apple.

Have you ever seen these strangely looking roots at the grocery store, and wondered what they are or what you could do with them? Sunchokes have a sweet and nutty flavor. They are crispy when eaten raw, but can also be enjoyed steamed, sauteed or purreed. The Germans even make a schnaps from them. Sunchokes are high in iron and potassium, and are fiber rich, especially in the soluble fiber inulin. This makes them a great, and healthier, substitute for potatoes: they have a similar texture, but a much lower glycemic index.

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Here I present a Sunchoke puree, topped with roasted Maitake mushrooms to add some crispiness and highlight the nutty flavor. Yet another example of the many different and unbelievably tasty vegetables available to us, perfectly suited to give your cooking some variation.

Sunchoke Puree with roasted Maitake mushrooms

serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Puree:

  • 26oz (750g) Sunchokes
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cup (250ml) unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • almond oil or other nut oil
  • salt

For the roasted Maitake mushrooms:

  • 4oz (110g) or more Maitake mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • salt

Procedure:

For the Puree:

  1. Wash and peel the Sunchokes. Cut into large chunks. Keep them into a big bowl of water with a drizzle of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
  2. In a large pot, sweat the shallots in 2 tablespoons olive oil with a pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes. Add the drained Sunchokes and the thyme sprigs, and continue sweating for a few minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of soy milk. Add just enough water to cover the Sunchokes. Bring to a boil and then simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Remove the thyme sprigs. Transfer the Sunchokes to a blender without the cooking liquid and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Blend until smooth. To reduce thickness, add cooking liquid and blend again, until the desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt. Drizzle a little almond oil or any other nut oil on top before serving.

For the roasted Maitake mushrooms:

  1. Pre heat the oven at 410° F (210° C)
  2. Spread the Maitake mushrooms onto a baking sheet.
  3. Generously drizzle some olive oil on top and season with salt. Using your hands gently mix to coat the mushrooms.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until brown and crispy
  5. Top the Sunchoke puree with the roasted mushrooms, serve immediately

Bon appetit