Sunchokes, Anyone?

Sunchokes courtesy of TheKitchn

I am mildly obsessed with this late fall tuber – the sunchoke, aka Jersusalem artichoke. Sunchokes are super tasty, easy to prepare, contain protein (!!) and low in starch. They could easily be mistaken for ginger root in appearance, but have a consistency more like celeriac or a potato (with a much better nutritional profile). And, they are available now in the Northeast, so local+seasonal. I guess I commented one too many times during dinner on my affection for this veg.  Said Hubs, ” Yeah, I got it,” all the while scraping his plate clean. This is one in a series on the lovely sunchoke.

Last Monday night’s meal consisted of Pan Seared Halibut with Oven Roasted Sunchokes and a mixed green salad to finish. It was a hit.

Pan Seared Halibut and Oven Roasted Sunchokes

I wanted a simple recipe for the halibut, and I got my inspiration from the the King Estate Winery’s website. I cracked a handful of peppercorns, and then pressed them into each side of 6 ounce halibut fillets, along with a sprinkle of kosher salt. I heated up a splash of olive oil in my cast iron pan on medium heat, and then seared the fillets for about 2 minutes on each side. Done.  I had previously prepared the sunchokes, so dinner was basically ready to go in less than 10 minutes. Here is my recipe for the sunchokes. Must try

Oven Roasted Sunchokes for 2

Oven Roasted Sunchokes

1/2 to 3/4 pound of sunchokes, scrubbed and slice 1/4 inch thick. Do not peel
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or a small sprig of fresh rosemary, if you have it
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 425F. Toss sunchokes in a mixing bowl with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place in a 9X13 roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice. The sunchokes are ready when they are softened and lightly browned. You can keep them in the oven longer if you’d like to get them a little crispier. Enjoy!

Reliving the Glory of Summer – Pasta al Pesto Genovese in the Fall

Post-Thanksgiving Pasta – Sounds like a bad idea, right? I am a few weeks late with this post, but I hope you will still find it entertaining.

Pretty Purple Taters and Green Beans Ready to go

Pasta al Pesto was great excuse to reminisce about the summer’s bounty.  And required no additional shopping – a bonus after hitting the grocery store multiple times while prepping for Thanksgiving. I pulled a glass jar of pesto out of the freezer Saturday morning to defrost, excited for my resourceful quasi-pantry meal. We had purple potatoes leftover from the last CSA pick-ups (remember, potatoes do last), and the green beans, while neither local or seasonal at the moment, were leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. We cleaned and sliced them up, and boiled the potatoes first, then the green beans, using the same water.

Boiled potatoes and green beans, awaiting their turn

Set aside the veggies, then cook the pasta in the same water. While the pasta cooked, I thinned out my frozen pesto with some additional olive oil, and added 1/2 cup of grated parmiggiano to the pesto. If you prepare pesto for the freezer, don’t add the cheese until you are ready to use it.

Add the spaghetti, steaming, straight from the pot

Add the pasta to a large bowl with the green beans, potatoes, pesto and a splash of pasta water. Toss well.

Fabulous Fall Meal: Spaghetti al Pesto Genovese

Tutti a tavola! Spaghetti al Pesto Genovese on a chilly November night. I loved dipping into my pantry to pull out previously prepared treats.

Tell me what you’ve used from  your pantry lately.