Sunchoke Parmesan


Sunchokes are the root of a plant that looks like a sunflower. Bring a bit of sun into your kitchen this week with Sunchoke Parmesan.

1 pound sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes)
Butter for smearing and dotting the baking dish
Black pepper, ground fresh
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. You can peel the sunchokes, but it is not imperative. Drop them in salted, boiling water and cook until they feel tender, but not mushy when prodded with a fork. Ten minutes after the water returns to a boil, check them frequently because they tend to go from very firm to very soft in a brief span of time. Drain when done, and as soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/2-inch slices.

Smear the bottom of a baking dish with butter, and place the sunchoke slices in it, arranging them so they overlap, roof-tile fashion. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the grated Parmesan, dot with butter and place the dish on the uppermost rack of the preheated oven. Bake until a light golden crust begins to form on top. Allow to settle for a few minutes out of the oven before serving.

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