C.J. Jacobsen is the Executive Chef at The Yard in Santa Monica (119 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-395-6037). He is making a seasonal caprese salad using chocolate persimmons, burrata cheese and smoked almonds. He removes the seeds and slices the persimmons lengthwise. He then layers the slices with burrata cheese. The salad is topped with almonds smoked with mesquite and then crushed. Top with basil and balsamic vinegar.
Weiser Family Farms has sunchokes right now, also called Jerusalem Artichokes. This tuber is from the sunflower family and can be eaten raw, sauteed or even mashed like potatoes. Farmer Alex Weiser doesn't like to peel them, but chefs frequently do it when mashing.
Mashed Potatoes with Jerusalem Artichokes
2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 lbs Jerusalem Artichokes
3 lbs yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup crème fresh or sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
6 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Fill large pot half full with cold water, add lemon juice. Peel sunchokes, if you like, cut into 1-inch pieces and add to pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil sunchokes until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Return artichokes to pot. Add potatoes, salt, and enough water to cover vegetables: bring to boil. Cover and boil until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Return vegetables to pot and set over low heat. Add crème fresh and butter. Mash until mixture is almost smooth. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Re-warm over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Stir in chives.