Jerusalem artichokes, a.k.a., “sunchokes” are a fun little winter vegetable to work with. Actually the tuber of a type of sunflower, jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, puréed, fried, and probably in other ways that I haven’t even thought of. They have a nutty, slightly artichoke-y flavor that is subtle-yet-memorable. Aside from puréeing into a creamy soup, my favorite way to serve these little nuggets of deliciousness is in this simple salad. The key to success with this salad is to slice the jerusalem artichokes and the shallots as thinly as humanly possible. For this I use a Japanese slicer, or you could certainly use a mandoline – or if you have really, really killer knife skills you could slice them by hand. Trying not to sound like a broken record here, but when you make recipes with so few ingredients, it is really key to use the best possible ingredients that you can. In this case, really good quality extra virgin olive oil is key. And real Parmigiano-Reggiano if you can.
I like to leave the skin on the jerusalem artichokes because I like it and it tastes good, but you could certainly remove it if you feel like it. If you opt to leave the skin on, remember to scrub the vegetable well.
5 small jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed well and very thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups sliced)
2 tablespoons shallot, very finely sliced
12-15 leaves flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2-3 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
A small Parmigiano-Reggiano piece (you will have leftovers!)
Fleur de sel or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Special Equipment: A mandoline or Japanese slicer, a swivel-style vegetable peeler
- Pile the thinly sliced jerusalem artichokes on a serving platter. Squeeze some of the lemon over the slices.
- Sprinkle the shallot slices over the jerusalem artichokes.
- Using a swivel-style vegetable peeler, shave 10-15 good-sized pieces (or more, to taste) of Parmesan off of the block of cheese over the vegetables.
- Top decoratively with the parsley leaves. Sprinkle with fleur de sel or kosher salt, and add a few grindings of pepper.
- Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and a few more squeezes of your lemon half.