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November 2009
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Burdock Root Chips and Brussel-Sunchoke Saute

So I’ve never bought a burdock root in my life…frankly it sounds like something Harry Potter would have to deal with in Professor Sprout’s class, but you know me…I just can’t let a strange vegetable lie.  So I bought one of the roots, and went home to google their uses.  I was dismayed to find out there weren’t many recipes at all, so I came up with my own idea.  Burdock chips.  Hey, why not?

I’ll tell you why not….because when you slice burdock root into thin little “chips” and stick them in the oven at 400F, they shrink.  I swear it’s like magic.  When I put them in, the rounds were nearly golf ball sized, and when I pulled them out twenty minutes later they were barely larger than dimes.  What???

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Don’t be fooled by the awesome picture, these were MINUSCULE.   They tasted ok, nothing special, and there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but that could also be because I burned them a bit.  I’m told Burdock root is really good for acne, and while I could use the skin help, I don’t think I could stomach a bowl of these seven days a week.  They’re nowhere near that good.  I tossed the chips with a bit of Braggs and canola, along with some white pepper, and baked for twenty minutes at 400F.  To be honest though, it just made me want real potato chips, sigh.

On the other hand, I really liked the brussel-sunchoke saute I made over spaghetti.  I love brussels, but I don’t make them very often because it seems no one else likes them, and I always have to wait for a meal alone or a one person serving at the market.  This week I decided to go for it, and although I’ve been eating the leftovers for breakfast all week, it was totally worth it.  I don’t NEED anyone to share with.

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This was REALLY simple, and it was the first time I’d ever cooked with sunchokes.  I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever eaten them before, but they taste like a cross between a potato and an artichoke, two foods I’m totally cool with.  I don’t think this’ll be the last time sunchokes appear on my cutting board.  For some reason, brussels make me crave sundried tomatoes, so that’s what I did, basically making a quick sautee that reminded me a lot of a cooked version of an antipasto plaster.  (minus the salami and other such nasties).

Ingredients
Approx 1 lb sunchokes, chopped into cubes
1 lb brussels, stems removed and chopped into slivers
1/2 lg white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1/4 dry vermouth
2 tbs Tuscan Sunrise
1 tsp dried Savory
2 tbs olive oil
S+P

Directions
1. Heat oil in a large skillet (I used cast iron) and add the onion and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes until garlic is just starting to brown and onions begin to soften. Add the sunchokes, and toss to coat with oil.
2. Once sunchokes are starting to turn golden, add the brussels, tomatoes, vermouth, and spices. Cover, and allow to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, so that flavors can combine.
3. Uncover and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Serve up over grain off choice…in my case that was whole linguine.

I was so excited to get some unusual produce at the Whole Foods this week, and there are a couple more dishes lined up and ready for an entry, I just need to save them for another day because my head is quickly heading into migraine land and that probably isn’t helped my staring at a glowing computer screen…

Selah.

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