Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Sunchoke and Wild Rice Salad with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

The first time I ever saw a sunchoke in the produce section a few years back, I remember thinking...what is that, some sort of mutant ginger root?  Then of course I read the label above it which read "sunchoke", which sort of intrigued me.  Afterall, anything with the word sun in the title must have wonderful flavor right?  The curious person that I am, never being one to pass up trying a new vegetable I bought a few not knowing how to prepare them.  I looked in a few of my Vegetarian cookbooks and realized that there are many things that can be done with them.  But I decided to first try roasting them and trying them with just a touch of sea salt so I could get the full unaltered flavor.  They were amazing, like potato chips that tasted amazingly enough like artichokes!  I have ever since been hooked on them and I love to roast them until crispy then add them to salads or just simply snack on them.  I was all excited when I saw some locally grown ones last weekend so I bought a large bag.  Last night I knew I wanted to include them in dinner, and what I decided on was a grain salad that featured them. 

First I cooked off some wild rice, then roasted the sunchokes to perfection and added those to the bowl (the ones that didn't get snacked on and made it into the salad).  It was looking a bit uncolorful so I decided to add some dried cherries for color and a bit of sweetness. 

I thought the salad needed some crunch as well so I added some toasted pecans (which seem to end up in most of my salads this time of year).  Also, I had fresh rosemary for some savory fragrance as well as some shallots to make it even more delicious.  A cider balsamic dressing laced with dijon to complete it and voila, a delicious salad! 

It was hearty and filling, perfect for one of the last few days of November.  If you haven't tried sunchokes and you have access to them, you must!  Here is the recipe for my salad if you would like to try it!

Roasted Sunchoke and Wild Rice Salad with Cherries and Toasted Pecans
Serves 4

1 cup wild rice (uncooked), rinsed
3 cups sliced Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup toasted pecans
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place wild rice in a medium stockpot and cover with plenty of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook rice until tender and starting to flower, about 45 minutes.  Drain and cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475 degrees, line a sheet pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  Toss sunchokes with just enough oil to coat then roast until tender and starting to brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool and add to a large bowl along with rice, shallots, cherries, pecans and rosemary.  Whisk together dressing, then toss well with salad and serve!


  1. I've actually never had sunchoke, but would love to try it. Sounds like a wonderful combination of flavors, plus I always love rice salads.

  2. That looks soooo tasty! Love to find new vegetarian recipes.

  3. Healthy, beautiful and delicious! Love this salad, Amy!

  4. This salad looks lovely, I like the addition of the pecans and cherries. Very tasty. Nice to meet you and I love finding new veggie sites. Just signed in. Have a great day!

  5. Oh, I want some of this--wish we could find sunchokes with more regularity up here. This looks delicious!