Your Quick Guide to Sunchokes

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Here’s a riddle for you: what looks like ginger, has the consistency of a potato, is a root vegetable with a lovely yellow flower, and tastes kind of like an artichoke?

The sunchoke of course!

This week at the market, Laura Avery talks to Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms about his three varieties of sunchokes. Also called “Jerusalem artichokes,” sunchokes are root vegetables that are actually a species of sunflowers.

These knobby-looking plants are fall/winter vegetables.

They are planted similarly to potatoes, approximately 4 inches deep. Alex says that he knows they are ready to be harvested when they look dead. They can be eaten both raw or cooked.

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Stampede Sunchokes. Courtesy of Harvest Thyme Herbs(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Yellow, or Stampede Sunchokes

-flowers grow to about 8 ft. tall

Red Fuseau Sunchoke. Courtesy of Oikos Tree Crops

Red Fuseau Sunchokes

-grow to about 10 ft. tall

Fuseau means “spindle” in French, which describes the shape of this variety.

White Sunchokes

Alex has an early variety and a late variety that he sells at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market each year.


This week on Good Food, Evan spoke with Deborah Madison about her book Vegetable Literacy. Here is Deborah’s recipe for Sunchoke Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Sunflower Sprouts.

Earlier this year we posted Diane Forley’s recipe for Sunchoke Ravioli and Kale Pesto.