This Rocket and Sunchoke Salad Is a wonderful side for winter dinners. Crispy and sticky on the outside and nutty on the inside this ugly tuber vegetable is transformed into morsels of deliciousness in this salad.
These gnarly root vegetables have been morphed into sticky morsels of delectable flavour by being roasted in honey and fresh rosemary. We then tossed in some peppery rocket/arugula, some juicy mandarin segments and toasted crunchy walnuts and voila heaven in a salad bowl - again!
An impressive salad that pairs well with red meats such as beef or lamb, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous try them with roasted game birds such as grouse or guinea fowl.
So, What are Sunchokes?
They are also known as Jerusalem artichokes or Sun Roots and are classed as root vegetables or tubers, unlike their distant cousins' globe artichokes which are bulb vegetables. They taste slightly nutty and savoury, a cross between a globe artichoke heart and a potato and can be eaten both raw and cooked.
They are not readily available in Australia, I found these at Panetta Markets in Marrickville but I have also seen them at Harris Farm Markets and Hillview farm markets during the Autumn and Winter months.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- SUNCHOKES - the star of this salad show and bring a wonderful nutty flavour to this salad. If you want to give this salad a try but can't find them come hell or highwater then you can swap them for kipfler potatoes or with jicama or with globe artichoke hearts. The cooking will be different so keep an eye on them while roasting.
- ROCKET/ARUGULA - used here to bulk up the salad as sunchokes are pretty pricey. Their peppery flavour suits the sweet flavours in this salad but you can certainly swap with some baby spinach or with some shredded chard.
- MANDARINS - here for their juicy sweetness you can try any sweet citrus here - oranges, tangelos, or clementines are good options.
- WALNUTS - the crunchy element in this salad we have roasted them to add a rich flavour. Can be swapped with pecans, Brazil nuts or hazelnuts.
- HONEY/MAPLE - whether you use honey or maple syrup in this recipe just depends on your dietary needs and what you have on hand, but using honey does make the sunchokes nice and sticky.
- ROSEMARY - here for its woodsy evergreen aroma, we have used fresh rosemary but you can use dried (just use half a tablespoon though as dried herbs tend to be more potent) or you can swap it with thyme or sage.
- DRESSING - this is made up of pan juices and with a simple mix of olive oil and lemon juice - pretty easy.
You Will Need
How to prepare Sunchokes
- Sunchokes come in knobbly, odd shapes so sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Begin by cutting off any obvious blemishes and brown bits.
- And as they are usually covered in dirt you really need to scrub them well. Rinse them thoroughly under cold running water then scrub them using a vegetable brush. Make sure you get rid of all the dirt hiding in each nook and cranny, then give them another good rinse.
- They discolour and turn brown quickly, so as soon as you cut sunchokes, you need to drop them into a bowl of acidulated water (nothing special here, this is just water that you have added either lemon juice, salt or vinegar)
- If you need to use them as a puree or in a clear soup then you may like to peel them with a vegetable peeler or a small parring knife.
- Sunchokes can also be sliced thinly and eaten raw, boiled or sautéed but we are going to be roasting them in this recipe.
How to Make It (step-by-step)
1ROAST THE SUNCHOKES
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Slice your prepared sunchokes into 1 ½ cm or ½ inch rounds.
Wash the rosemary, strip the leaves from the stems then finely chop and if you wash your rosemary under warm water it will release its wonderful aroma - ah heaven!
Line a baking tray with baking paper and add your Jerusalem artichokes, chopped rosemary, honey, orange juice and olive oil. Toss until they are well coated and place in the middle section of your oven (it is usually the hottest part).
Roast them until they are golden brown (approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour). Turn them halfway through so they absorb all that delicious sticky flavour from both sides, then allow them to cool.
2PREPARE REMAINING INGREDIENTS
Peel your mandarins and remove as much of the pith as you can, cut them in half lengthwise.
Wash your rocket under cold water and spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
3ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil and lemon juice and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
Arrange your salad in a salad bowl and scatter the roasted walnuts on top. Serve immediately.
You can prepare the dressing, the roasting ingredients and the sunchokes a day or two in advance but make sure that you keep the artichokes in acidulated water to prevent them from browning.
After it is made up you can keep it at room temperature for several hours.
Pop any leftovers in an airtight container and they are still good the next day for lunch, but any longer the arugula/rocket will become too wilted.
This is a dairy-free, gluten-free salad that can be vegan/vegetarian by swapping the honey for maple syrup.
It depends on how strict paleo/whole30 you are, because of the honey in this salad.
Definitely not one for keto and low-carb dieters because of the fruit and honey.
Other winter salad recipes to try -
- Salad Spinner
- Parring knife
- 750 grams sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes (approximately 6.5oz)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (approximately 2-3 sprigs)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan/vegetarian/paleo)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 cups baby rocket/arugula (approximately 60g/2.10oz)
- 2 small mandarins (approximately 180g/6.35oz)
- ½ cup walnuts, roasted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Preheat your oven to 200°C or 390°F.
- Rinse your sunchokes under cold running water, and scrub them well with a vegetable brush and give them another good rinse.
- Slice them into 1 ½ cm - ½ inch rounds.
- To prevent them from browning drop them into a bowl of acidulated water (water that you have added either lemon juice, salt or vinegar)
- Rinse and finely chop your rosemary leaves.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and add the sunchokes, chopped rosemary, honey, orange juice and olive oil. Toss until they are well coated and place the tray in the middle section of your oven.
- Roast them until they are golden brown (approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour), turn them halfway through the cooking process. Allow them to cool.
- Wash your rocket under cold water and spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- Peel your mandarins and remove as much of the pith and seeds as you can, cut them in half lengthwise.
- Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and olive oil, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Mix everything until well combined.
- Arrange your salad in a salad bowl and scatter the roasted walnuts on top to garnish. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
The on how to pick your Jerusalem artichokes is courtesy of The Produce Guy.