Savor Cooks: Sunchokes

This month’s “Savor Cooks” recipe features sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes. Try our recipe for Creamy Vegan Pasta with Sunchokes, Spinach and Lemon.

Sunchokes are root vegetables that look similar to ginger, have a potato-like consistency, and taste like a mild artichoke. Like a potato, the outer skin is edible but it can also be peeled for aesthetic, texture or tolerance reasons.

Roasting is one of the most popular ways to enjoy sunchokes because they get that crispy oven-based texture. They can also be tossed into soups (or made into a sunchoke soup) or sautéed and added to risotto or pasta.

Sunchokes can be consumed raw when thinly sliced or shaved. However, keep in mind that sunchokes contain a type of fiber called inulin, which can make some people feel gassy or have diarrhea. For those prone to experiencing gastrointestinal issues, stick with sunchoke preparations that involve cooking.

Don’t forget to check out our Food of the Month post on sunchokes

Recipe

This pasta recipe has all of the crave-worthy lemon-garlic-cream elements but is completely vegan. Homemade cashew cream mixed with the starchy pasta cooking water adds richness to the pasta and the lemon adds brightness. Using both the zest and the juice of the lemon brings out the most flavor.

As the pasta sits, the sauce will thicken. To thin it out, just add more pasta cooking liquid or water and reheat.

Look for smaller sized sunchokes for this recipe. They are less tough and will cook on the stove faster. Be sure to give them a good rinse and scrub before using.

Do you love cashew cream? It can also be used to finish a soup, or used as a “cream” to top fresh berries. Thinned out cashew cream is delicious stirred into oatmeal or muesli.

Creamy Vegan Pasta with Sunchokes, Spinach and Lemon
Serves 4
For the cashew cream
  1. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 6 hours (if using a high speed blender, soak time can be reduced to 2 hours) and drained of water
  2. ½ - ¾ cup water
  3. pinch salt
For the pasta
  1. 1 lb linguine or other favorite pasta shape
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 cups small sunchokes, washed well (you may need to scrub), and sliced very thin ~1/8th of an inch thickness
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 heaping cups baby spinach
  6. 1 cup cashew cream
  7. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. zest and juice of 1 lemon
  9. salt and pepper, to taste
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Instructions
  1. To make the cashew cream, place soaked and drained cashews, ½ cup water and salt in the blender or food processor. Blend or process until completely smooth, anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes, drizzling in remaining ¼ cup water as needed to achieve a smooth consistency similar to heavy cream. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 2 minutes under what the package calls for. Drain, reserving at least a cup of the pasta cooking water.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil. Add the sliced sunchokes and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add ¼ cup of pasta cooking water, cover the skillet and steam the sunchokes for about 5 minutes or until just fork tender. Uncover the pan, reduce heat to medium and continue sautéing until the water is evaporated. If sunchokes still seem hard, add another ¼ cup water and repeat steaming process.
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and cook another minute. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted.
  5. Stir the cashew cream and garlic powder into the skillet mixture. Add the pasta and continue to stir over medium heat. Slowly stir in additional pasta cooking liquid, a few tablespoons at a time as needed if the sauce is looking dry.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Stephanie Forsythe MS, RDN, CNSC, CDN

Stephanie Forsythe MS, RDN, CNSC, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works as a Clinical Dietitian and Nutrition Coordinator at a hospital in Brooklyn. She helps patients meet their nutritional needs during their stay in the intensive care units. Aside from developing recipe and blog content for Savor Health, Stephanie also has worked as pastry cook in California and New York City. Stephanie received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Teachers College Columbia University. She completed a Dietetic Internship and training through Teachers College.

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