These bear the most inaccurate moniker ever, as they have nothing to do with Jerusalem and are not artichokes. Girasola means "turns to the sun" in Italian and was corrupted by someone into "Jerusalem"--perhaps the same someone thought that they tasted like artichokes. And so they carry this name even though they are a perennial edible in the sunflower family. Sunchokes are tubers and can be used similarly to potatoes, but they cook a lot faster. My personal preference is for them cooked as opposed to raw, unless they are used water chestnut-like in a salad. Once you plant one of these in a corner of your yard, they multiply like crazy and you will never be without them. Like rhubarb, they are an "old faithful."
On a health note, their starch contains inulin and does not convert to sugar, making them popular with diabetics and those who are avoiding gluten.
"Kimchee is a Korean staple and I really love the crunch of the vegetables and the sweet spice of the Korean red chili. Quite some time ago I posted a kimchee tutorial for making the classic fermented napa cabbage. There are many kinds of kimchee in Korea and daikon is another favorite vegetable for pickling in this way. I really enjoy the Korean daikon, which is more round and shorter than the typical daikon you find in most grocery stores. But you can use either for this dish. I actually used one large regular long daikon to make a batch. Two Korean bulbs would be about the same amount.
The process I used to make this is similar to the cabbage variant. I diced the radish, salted it and let it sit for about an hour. After a good rinsing the daikon was tossed with one bunch of green onions, sliced; 5 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 inch of fresh ginger, minced; about half a cup of Korean red chili flakes, and about a tablespoon of nuöc mam fish sauce. I prefer the Three Crabs brand. You don't want to know how this is made! But it isn't kimchee without some fermented fish. Traditionally, kimchee is prepared with chopped fish or fermented shrimp. This sauce makes it much easier to add that hint of fish. I also added a pinch of sugar. Mix everything well and let it sit out for at least a day then store it in the fridge. Unlike the napa cabbage kimchee, which I like well fermented and sour, I prefer my daikon kimchee fresh and sweet."
PS: Wanting to reserve a share for next season? You'll receive a letter in the new year telling you about the coming season.
See you soon.