The month of March offers a number of goodies still ripe for the picking. We've made it through the frigid season of brussels sprouts and fennel (although still wildly available) and are highly anticipating the warmer months when we can enjoy juicy, plump tomatoes. Just like these in-between days of not knowing what to wear because it's not exactly freezing but it sure isn't warm, March also serves as a confusing time of not knowing what to fix for dinner, when you've outworn your crockpot but aren't quite ready for vichyssoise.
Sunchokes are prime produce this time of year, and they can be a unique and delicious alternative to potatoes. Also known as a Jerusalem artichoke, sunchokes are part of the sunflower family that produces edible tubers. The root vegetable has a sweet and nutty flavor, reminiscent of water chestnuts. Like the consistency of potatoes, they are best roasted, steamed or pureed, but can also actually be enjoyed raw, in salads or pestos. Sunchokes are super high in vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, and a great source of iron. Things our bodies are pretty desperate for right about now. When shopping for the veggie, look for those with roots that are free of soft spots, wrinkles or sprouting, but keep in mind that knobs and unevenness are natural occurrences (similar to the look of ginger root).
Sunchokes make for pristine soups, roasted side dishes or even as hummus-like dips. For a tried and true crowd pleasing recipe that serves as the perfect accompaniment to fish or hearty meats, we love this one from Bon Appétit that includes a zingy salsa verde. Cheers to creative, healthy, delicious home-cooking and taking advantage of the season's offerings.