Plain and simple, sunchokes, previously referred to as “Jerusalem artichokes”, make you fart. That being said, I believe that this really only pertains to consumption of raw sunchokes. The culprit? Inulin- a complex fructose-based carbohydrate that is not digestible by humans. According to the widely trusted Wikipedia (rolls eyes), most hydrolases (enzymes) can be inactivated at 200°F. As water-bath canning raises internal jar temperatures to 212°F, paired with the added acidity from vinegar, perhaps pickling can help alleviate some of the “wind producing” symptoms of sunchokes. Then again, perhaps not…
The week before last I met Jordan the quirky head farmer at Two Toad Farm (his business card is a pack of tobacco seeds- how cool is that!?). While attempting to recruit him as a speaker for the next Seacoast Food Swap, I was overly distracted by his small display of sunchokes… cough… “that’s what she said”. A couple months ago Keith experimented with some baked sunchoke chips; they turned out really good, especially the slightly burnt and crispy ones. I figured sweet, spicy, and nutty pickled sunchoke chips would be equally as tasty. I found and slightly modified this recipe from the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog. Enjoy these sweet & spicy pickled sunchokes straight out of the jar, with a mix of other pickles, or as a side to any Middle Eastern dish/stew.
- 2 pounds sunchokes (washed and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings)
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 Tbsp mustard seed
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 Tbsp red chile flakes
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup water (plus 1 quart for the brine)
- juice from 2 lemons (~1/2 cup)
- In a large-sized bowl, combine sunchokes, salt, lemon juice, turmeric, and enough water to cover. Stir well to dissolve salt. Let stand for 8-12 hours.
- Rinse and drain sunchokes. Pack into jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
- In a large-sized, non-ionized pot combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to just a boil. Remove from heat. Strain vinegar liquid using a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) retaining liquid and solid ingredients. Remove bay leaves & cloves.
- Add half of a bay leaf and 1 tsp of unstrained (solid) ingredients to each pint jar. Ladle vinegar liquid over jar ingredients leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and add more liquid if displaced.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and then process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from canner and let stand on a folded towel for 8-12 hours.
- Store jars in a cool, dry place for at least 1 week before consuming. Shelf stable for up to 1 year.