This Salad Will Forever Change How You Feel About Sunchokes

And if you’re a sunchoke virgin, this salad is a good way to test out this nutrient-packed vegetable.

Sunchokes may look gnarly, but they’re loaded with nutrients

In the fairy-tale vegetable kingdom, the sunchoke is the ugly beast. And while they may never bring home the trophy for good looks, sunchokes win our undying love for their notable nutrient profile and sweet nutty flavour.

With about 100 calories per cup and an impressive amount of iron, sunchokes are a low-calorie swap for potatoes or root vegetables. Most impressively, they’re one of the top sources of inulin fibre, a unique prebiotic that helps feed and nourish our healthy gut bacteria. In fact, one study found that consuming inulin fibre from sunchokes for three weeks significantly boosted participants’ healthy gut bacteria levels.

Top tip for sunchoke virgins

Take it slow. There’s a reason they’re often affectionately called “fartchokes.” If your gut isn’t used to inulin and you go hog wild on these little tubers, you might feel a wee bit uncomfortable.

No worries, we got you. Blending and extending our sunchokes with other familiar veggies and ingredients as we do in this salad helps minimize the gas attack while still delivering the happy-gut benefits. 

The sunchoke is a welcome addition to any salad

In this recipe, we roast them quickly to bring out their natural sweetness, but in a pinch, you can slice them thinly on a mandoline and serve raw. While the pairings are endless, we love our chokes with a bounty of nutritious flavours. Daintily shredded brussels sprouts and endive pack a host of anti-cancer compounds, while sweet pear and tangy cranberries offer a juicy bite, plus antioxidants to boot!

Topped off with a sprinkle of crunchy kasha, the naturally gluten-free toasted version of buckwheat, you’ve got yourself a satisfying new go-to side.

Here are 8 ways to prep your salad, so you’ll actually want to eat it.

Salad, sunchokes
Sunchoke, Brussels Sprouts and Pear Salad with Crispy Kasha
Sunchoke, Brussels Sprouts and Pear Salad with Crispy Kasha
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
6servings 20minutes 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
6servings 20minutes
Cook Time
2minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Toss sunchokes with olive oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
  2. In a jar or bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and shallot. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the kasha, and toast for about 30 to 60 seconds until it smells toasty and nutty. Quickly transfer the kasha to a plate or bowl lined with paper towel.
  4. To assemble, combine the brussels sprouts, sunchokes, pear and endive. Toss with the dressing and top with the cranberries, pecans and toasted kasha.
Recipe Notes

Nutrients per serving: 272 calories, 6 g protein, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 81 mg sodium

Originally Published in Best Health Canada