Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sustainable Spring: Sunchoke Slivers with Green Onions and Hollandaise Sauce

I am ready for change.  Life has been moving a little too slowly for my impatient taste.  Despite my efforts to push it along.  Just once can that really great thing that I have been waiting for happen right now! I always feel this way at this time of the year.  Late March and early April give me these anxious feelings of what I need to be accomplishing or what I should have already accomplished.  At the same, I have great expectations for the rest of the year (more so than in January it seems) and for all the great ways I will take advantage of the beautiful weather.  I am already buying spring dresses meant to be worn without tights, boots or scarves.  Is it really going to snow again this week?

Last week I was reading one of my favorite blogs "Not Eating Out in NY" and learned that Cathy Erway is co-sponsoring a contest entitled "Sustainable Spring." The challenge is to come up with a recipe that is true to the name, that is incorperating sustainable, seasonal ingredients.  The winner gets cooking classes at the Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center taught by chef Jacques of Palo Santo.  And the deadline is, oh yeah, today!  What a great way to celebrate and embrace the change in season that is so welcomed after our long cold winter!  I left work yesterday and headed to the Union Square Greenmarket with visions of ramps, peashoots, dandelion greens, artichokes and asparagus before my eyes.  Despite my leaving work as early as I could, I got to the market at twenty to six and the stalls were getting ready to close up for the day.  I found one vegetable stall still in business.  One stall with an overflowing basket of sunchokes.  Deja' vous?  This was all too familiar.  As it seems, last year and the year before, I had hit the farmers market in March with the same aspirations minus the blogger contest and found lots and lots of sunchokes.  Until my moving to Brooklyn and thus making local greenmarkets part of my food shopping routine, I had never heard of or eaten a sunchoke.  I still marvel at the strange little vegetables that they are. They look like ginger knobs, have a texture like a potato but a little crisper, and taste like an artichoke.  This recipe is a variation on the classic steamed/boiled artichoke with hollandaise dipping sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce

1 stick of butter
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon
pinch of cayenne

Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan.  Do not brown.  In a blender add egg yolks, salt, lemon and cayenne and blend.  While the blender is still on drizzle the butter in slowly.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  Serve immediately or keep warm up to thirty minutes in a bowl over simmering water.

Sunchoke Slivers

sunchokes (as many as you  like)
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of lemon
sea salt

Scrub your sunchokes clean and drop in a pot of boiling water in descending order from largest to smallest.  Boil for ten minutes and transfer your sunchokes into a boil of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. Remove the cool sunckokes and slice into 1/4 inch slivers.  Toss in a bowl with all other ingredients.
Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie pan.  Place a layer of you sunchokes on it spread out.  Place in the oven at 475 degrees for 5-8 minutes.  This will dry them a little and make them perfect for dipping.


  1. I love this! Sunchokes are everywhere here this time of year. I may have to try this!

  2. wht is the one great thing you waiting for??

    sunchokes is new to me...really look like ginger.. and i have heard abt hollandaise! cute post!