Sunchokes (aka. Jerusalem artichokes) are the tubers of sunflowers. These small, brown nubs are delicious peeled, sliced, and cooked in a casserole topped with cheese. You can combine them with other root vegetables (they are particularly good with potatoes), use whatever cheese you like, or add chopped herbs for different flavors.
While some gratins are baked dry, sunchokes benefit from some added liquid. You can use broth (homemade chicken broth is a good choice), cream, half-and-half, or a combination of them.
- 2 pounds sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
- 2 tablespoons butter for pan (or oil)
- Fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 1 cup broth (or cream, half-and-half, or some combination)
- 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Parmesan (or other hard, grating cheese)
Preheat oven to 375F. Scrub and roughly peel the sunchokes.
Cut the sunchokes into even, 1/4-inch slices.
Butter or grease a 2-quart casserole or equivalent baking pan. Lay enough sunchoke slices in the pan to create a solid layer. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Make a second layer and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. You can add a sprinkle of cheese to this layer too if you like. Keep layering and sprinkling, adding nutmeg only to every-other layer.
When all the sunchoke slices are in the dish, pour the broth or cream over the sunchokes, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until the gratin is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned and bubbly, another 20 minutes or so.